DOHA: World's largest manufacturer of commercial aircraft Boeing will deliver, over the next three years, 21 planes to Qatar Airways .
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Boeing Middle East President Jeffrey Johnson said, "We have already delivered 53 commercial aircraft to Qatar Airways and 21 more are on the way with deliveries scheduled over the next three years."
Boeing has delivered to Qatar Airways 40,777s and 13 Dreamliner planes, he said and added, "We are in discussion on supplying the high-tech 777X to Qatar."
Boeing's 777X programme has 280 orders and commitments from five customers worldwide, according to the aircraft manufacturer.
Earlier this year the company said, "Boeing continues to make progress on the 777X programme and is on track to reach firm configuration in 2015" after high-speed wind tunnel tests in January at Boeing's Transonic Wind Tunnel in Seattle.
Johnson spoke to QNA on the side-lines of Injaz Qatar's new start-up programme launch here Wednesday night. Boeing are sponsoring the third successive year Injaz's Youth Entrepreneurship imitative led by Chair Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser Al Thani.
On the forecast for new commercial jetliners' demand in the Middle East, Johnson said, "Forecasts say around 2,600 commercial aircraft estimated at US $550 billion will be delivered over the next 20 years."
Increasing air passenger traffic and opening of new routes is spurring commercial aviation growth in the Middle East.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) data released yesterday shows Middle East carriers enjoyed the strongest year-over-year traffic growth in May at 13.2 percent as airlines continue to benefit from the strength of regional economies, including non-oil production sectors, and solid growth in business-related premium travel. Capacity rose 6.9 percent and load factor climbed 4.4 percentage points to 78.0 percent.
National carrier Qatar Airways, in its 17th year of operations, is leading capacity growth in the region. It has a modern fleet of 134 aircraft flying to 144 business and leisure destinations across six continents.
During the 2013 Dubai Air Show Qatar Airways placed orders for more than 60 new aircraft ranging from Boeing 777X and Airbus A330 Freighters. In total the airline has 300 aircraft on order worth more than US $50 billion.
On the company's ties with Qatar Airways, Johnson said," We are proud of our partnership with Qatar Airways. Boeing is in the region since 65 years. We are here for a long term partnership."
Boeing yesterday confirmed in Chicago that its new 787-9 Dreamliner and the P-8A Poseidon will participate for the first time in flying displays at the Farnborough International Air Show, which runs July 14-20.
This year's air show marks the 40th anniversary of Boeing's participation at Farnborough. (QNA)