Qatar Airways has signed a $1.7bn order for six Boeing 777 aircraft.

The airline’s chief executive officer Akbar al-Baker signed the order during the Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways already operates 25 Boeing planes.

“We are expanding our international network rapidly and adding new routes and destinations that will extend Qatar Airways’ reach across the globe, especially as we aim to open more non-stop routes to popular and under-served cities around the world,” says Al-Baker.

In November 2007, Qatar Airways took delivery of the first of a 32-strong Boeing order. This was later increased to 40 aircraft with 15 still pending delivery.

The airline currently has a fleet of 94 aircraft. Qatar Airways carried more than 14 million passengers during the 2009/10 financial year. It expects to carry more than 16 million passengers in the 2010/11 financial year (MEED 14:2:11).