Qatar Airways has placed a $6.4bn order with Europe’s Airbus for 55 aircraft with options for a further 33.

The announcement came at the end of the third day of Dubai Airshow, just hours after the Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar al-Baker said negotiations between the two parties had reached an “impasse” (MEED 15:11:11).

The agreement is for 50 A320 aircraft with options for an additional 30. The deal also includes five A380 planes with three more on option. This will bring the carrier’s number of A380s on order to 10 and deliveries will start in 2013.

The A320neo aircraft are designed to operate quieter with lower operating costs, fly further and carry heavier payloads with less emissions than current single aisle aircraft.

“The A320neo promises to be a great aircraft which is why we have chosen it to form the backbone of our future single-aisle expansion,” Al-Baker says.

Qatar Airways will begin flights to Chongqing in China on 28 November and flights to Baku and Tbilisi will begin on 1 February 2012. By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve more than 120 destinations worldwide with a fleet of more than 120 aircraft. It currently operates a fleet of 102 aircraft.