State-owned Qatar Airways has placed an order for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 10 777-300ER aircraft valued at $11.7bn at list prices, according to a statement released by the US plane manufacturer.
A letter of intent was also signed for the procurement of up to 60 737 MAX 8 planes, whose value could fetch $6.9bn.
Qatar Airways currently has a total in-service passenger fleet of 170, excluding 20 cargo planes and nine executive fleet. Some 73 of its passenger fleet comprise Boeing planes including nine B777-200s, 34 B777-300s and 30 B787-8s, all of which were purchased over the past nine years.
The order for 40 new aircraft brings the airlines total order to 369 with a value equivalent to $81bn based on the planes list prices.
It puts the airline ahead of Dubais Emirates in terms of the number of aircraft pending delivery, although Emirates is still far ahead in terms of total value. Emirates has 240 aircraft pending delivery with an estimated value of $116bn as of August. Etihad Airways has 178 on order, valued at an estimated $38bn.
|Qatar Airways fleet|
|(Estimated value $81bn)|
|Bombardier Challenger 605||3|
|Bombardier Global 5000||4|
|Bombardier Global Express XRS||1|
|GulfstreamG500 and G600||20|
|Source: Qatar Airways|
The expansion of Qatar Airways and Hamad International airport are strategic initiatives in line with the states economic diversification programme.
Akbar al-Baker, group chief executive officer, said earlier this year that they are confident in achieving 15 to 25 per cent growth in in the current financial year ending in March 2017.
The airline also increased its stake in British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) to 20 per cent in August, making it the airline groups largest investor.
In August, Qatar Airways announced it will start charging an airport tax of $9.6 starting 1 December, following similar measures being adopted in the UAE.