Qatar Airways Orders Boeing 737 MAX & 777X Freighter

Qatar Airways Orders Boeing 737 MAX & 777X Freighter

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It’s a done deal — Qatar Airways has just placed a huge order with Boeing, worth up to $34 billion at list prices. Not only will Qatar Airways become the launch customer for the Boeing 777X freighter, but the airline has also ordered the Boeing 737 MAX.

Qatar Airways orders up to 102 Boeing jets

Qatar Airways and Boeing have just reached an agreement for up to 100 aircraft, including the following:

  • Up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, including 25 confirmed orders for the 737 MAX 10, and 25 options
  • Up to 50 Boeing 777X freighters, including 34 confirmed orders for the 777-8 freighter and 16 options
  • Two current generation Boeing 777 freighters
Qatar Airways is the launch customer for the 777-8 freighter

This agreement was signed today, coinciding with Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, meeting with US President Joe Biden. This is obviously a huge win for Boeing — not only is this a vote of confidence in the 737 MAX, but Boeing now also has its first 777X freighter order.

As you might have guessed based on the name, the 777X freighter is the cargo version of the 777X. The passenger jet isn’t even flying yet, but rather is expected enter service in late 2023 at the earliest, after a delay of several years.

Qatar Airways already had up to 60 of the passenger version of the Boeing 777X on order, including 10 Boeing 777-8s and 50 Boeing 777-9s. However, as part of today’s announcement, 20 of those orders are being converted into freighters, so this isn’t an entirely new order.

The 777-8 freighter is expected to enter service in 2027 at the earliest, and will be the world’s largest twin-engine cargo jet, with the most payload capacity and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions, and operating costs, compared to previous generation aircraft.

The Boeing 777-8 freighter will be the biggest twin engine cargo jet

This is very much an order against Airbus

This order is no doubt a result of the heated dispute currently taking place between Airbus and Qatar Airways. Long story short, the airline and aircraft manufacturer are arguing over the condition of Airbus A350s. Qatar Airways claims the fuselage of the aircraft is degrading at an accelerated rate, while Airbus is claiming that the damage is cosmetic.

The two companies are in a nasty legal battle, and it has gotten to the point where Airbus has even terminated its contract to sell Qatar Airways 50 Airbus A321neos.

Many of us were wondering whether all of this was just a bargaining tactic, or if the relationship between Airbus and Qatar Airways had truly soured permanently. The fact that Qatar Airways is immediately placing an order with Boeing sure suggests to me that the airline is more or less ready to cut ties, or at least make long term decisions based on the current situation.

Qatar Airways & Airbus are in a major dispute

My take on Qatar Airways’ Boeing order

Obviously Qatar Airways is doing what it can here to renew its fleet while also sending a message to Airbus. As far as the passenger fleet renewal goes, I can’t help but be a bit sad by the choice of the 737 MAX 10 over the Airbus A321neo (including the A321LR):

  • The A321neo family is much more versatile, and the upcoming A321XLR will offer some incredible range for a narrow body aircraft; Boeing doesn’t have a competitor to this, and the 737 MAX 10 has a maximum range of 3,300 nautical miles, while the A321LR has a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles
  • Qatar Airways’ narrow body fleet currently consists of Airbus A320-family aircraft, so it would have been much easier for the airline to stick with one fleet type
  • In terms of passenger experience, the A321neo is more comfortable than the 737 MAX, given the slightly wider cabin; I know Qatar Airways was developing a new business class product for the A321neo, so I’m curious if this will also work for the 737 MAX
Qatar Airways has ordered up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX 10s

Obviously Qatar Airways is doing what it can here, though the airline also definitely got the order right the first time around. It’s too bad things have soured so much with Airbus.

Since the 737 MAX 10 has significantly worse range than the A321LR, this means Qatar Airways won’t be able to serve some long and thin routes that the A321LR would have opened up. The press release even explicitly references how this plane will be used for short haul flights.

It’s too bad Qatar Airways won’t get the A321neo

Bottom line

Qatar Airways has placed a huge order with Boeing for over 100 jets. This includes Qatar Airways being the launch customer for up to 50 Boeing 777-8 freighters, which will enter service in 2027 at the earliest. In addition to that, Qatar Airways has placed an order for up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft, which will be used for short haul routes.

This order is pretty obviously as a result of the dispute between Qatar Airways and Airbus. There’s almost no denying that the A321neo and A321LR are all-around better planes than the 737 MAX 10, so I am sad to see that the former is no longer in Qatar Airways’ plans.

What do you make of Qatar Airways’ order with Boeing?

Conversations (47)
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  1. Carl Guest

    The 737-max10 to replace the A321neo-LR, gosh... Being upset is one thing, but making such idiotic decisions is really sad. Let's hope that these telescopic landing gears do better than the MCAS did on the 800-max. Why is the max 10 even certified to fly? Either the engine position will take the plane into an uncontrollable nose up or the low landing landing gears with the long fuselage will scratch the runway during take off...

    The 737-max10 to replace the A321neo-LR, gosh... Being upset is one thing, but making such idiotic decisions is really sad. Let's hope that these telescopic landing gears do better than the MCAS did on the 800-max. Why is the max 10 even certified to fly? Either the engine position will take the plane into an uncontrollable nose up or the low landing landing gears with the long fuselage will scratch the runway during take off and landing... If aviation had a Frankenstein... the top sponsor would be Qatar.

    1. Opus Guest

      Airbus cancelled the order. What do you want him to do? Beg?

    2. Max Guest

      Qatar could still buy Airbus A321 via lessors as intermediaries.

    3. Pierre Guest

      Maybe not put himself in the awkward position of now depending on a monopoly... if only to come back begging in six months or one year later when they realize they ended up buying a dud.

      What are they going to be able to buy when the Max proves again to be a flop? THe COMAC airliner and its 1980's technology ?

    4. Pierre Guest

      One may also add that if the MAX series has done so well with Low Cost operators it is because its economics work best with high density seating. There are not many MAX in a Premium heavy layout and one cannot really expect QR to install Economy seats at 29 or even 28" pitch.

      How the MAX performs with a more limited number of seats remains to be seen. Also, this will be the very first time that a ME airline buys what essentially remains a 60 year-old technology.

    5. Sergio Guest

      And one thing is the things happens and the other is that you want it to happen

  2. bp Guest

    It's just about deep pocket.Qatae has always been favored with Airbus and the poor paintwork has no real bearing.
    The passenger recovery is ongoing and it will be sometime b4 passenger capacity can reach pre-covid figures.Burden with these pax load factor and low prifer does not usher well with its airline operation.
    Bear in mind it's a bearish situation with most airline until full recovery which maybe few years say 5 years from...

    It's just about deep pocket.Qatae has always been favored with Airbus and the poor paintwork has no real bearing.
    The passenger recovery is ongoing and it will be sometime b4 passenger capacity can reach pre-covid figures.Burden with these pax load factor and low prifer does not usher well with its airline operation.
    Bear in mind it's a bearish situation with most airline until full recovery which maybe few years say 5 years from now.Even though airline are coordinating with govt of each country for more vtls no one is sure how the new variant can really affect the flow of traffic.

  3. Endre Guest

    Funny how Ben doesn’t address the Qatar pilot fatigue claims as published by Reuters. Guess, the fake drama of z-listed celebrities at airport gets more clicks and views

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I love people complaining about what a website owner decides to post on his entirely free website.

      Perhaps endresimportantnews.com is available? Go for it!

    2. Endre Guest

      White supremacists like you are the reason the internet has be one so toxic. Now go and f yourself.

    3. GLCTraveler Member

      @ Endre, White Supremacists??? Relax and take a nap as noted below!! You are a true baby. Not sure your brain is working right or has developed past age 6. Do you want a bottle?

    4. LA Guest

      Off topic.

      Go to bed…you need to sleep it off.

  4. John Guest

    As usual, I thought al-Baker was just 'making noises' about the a350. Then yesterday I watch the newly released vids of the damage on the a350. If that's what Airbus regards as "superficial" then I hate to imagine how they define substantial damage. Not an al-Baker fanboy, but I understand by his decision to ground the airplanes.

  5. azamaraal Guest

    Does anyone really want to fly a single aisle aircraft on "long and thin routes"? It would be my last choice on TATL.

    My Max 8 flight a month ago was a very comfortable ride. But my limit on single aisle is 5 hours. Qatar is ordering an aircraft that will be great for what they want it to do. And they can deal with a company that will stand by their product.

    The...

    Does anyone really want to fly a single aisle aircraft on "long and thin routes"? It would be my last choice on TATL.

    My Max 8 flight a month ago was a very comfortable ride. But my limit on single aisle is 5 hours. Qatar is ordering an aircraft that will be great for what they want it to do. And they can deal with a company that will stand by their product.

    The pictures of the A350 surface deterioration are quite troublesome and I am even more unhappy with Airbus especially when I remember their teething problems with the A320 fly by wire. The arrogance of Airbus is quite amazing.

    As one of the few I prefer the 787 for the ride and cabin comfort and much of the technology seems to have passed to the Max.

    I was scheduled to fly Qatar in March on the A350 and am not that unhappy that Oman Air will be flying the route.

  6. dander Guest

    barrons reported that once again Boeing is looking at a new jet. Could this bea "buy the max and you can be launch customer on the new jet"?

  7. MoJoe Diamond

    The whole saga with Qatar Airways is, oddly, a win-win for both Airbus and Boeing. Airbus bids farewell / adios / sayonara to their biggest PITA customer, while moving up and re-allocating A321neo deliveries to customers [very likely] paying higher prices. Boeing, after being put on the back burner by QR for a while, gets invited back to the deal table. Boeing gets a big launch customer for the 777X freighter plus a badly needed...

    The whole saga with Qatar Airways is, oddly, a win-win for both Airbus and Boeing. Airbus bids farewell / adios / sayonara to their biggest PITA customer, while moving up and re-allocating A321neo deliveries to customers [very likely] paying higher prices. Boeing, after being put on the back burner by QR for a while, gets invited back to the deal table. Boeing gets a big launch customer for the 777X freighter plus a badly needed order for its tarnished 737 MAX family. Boeing obviously needs to deliver on time and on spec (on both orders), lest it find itself undergoing the same type drama that Airbus has endured.

  8. Cedric Guest

    There is only a certain amount of airframes that can be produced, pretty sure airlines buying the max now are getting a huge discount or its the only choice for deliveries before 2040....

  9. S_LEE Member

    I don't think this shift will much impact Qatar's operational plan because B737-10 is able to fly over 6 hours, almost 7 hours. Its range covers from Doha to most of Europe, all the Middle Eastern destinations and over a half of Africa. They can simply fly B787 on 7+ hour routes.

    1. Andy Guest

      Agree. There relatively few cities in the 700nm difference zone, which can be reached with the A321XLR but not the Max10, out of DOH: Some cities in West Africa (Dakar, Banjul, Nouakchott, Monrovia, Freetown), a few in Southern Africa (Cape Town, Windhoek) and a few in South East Asia (Jakarta, Kuching, Taipeh). But many of them - except perhaps some West African ones, generate enough traffic for a larger plane. And missing out on a...

      Agree. There relatively few cities in the 700nm difference zone, which can be reached with the A321XLR but not the Max10, out of DOH: Some cities in West Africa (Dakar, Banjul, Nouakchott, Monrovia, Freetown), a few in Southern Africa (Cape Town, Windhoek) and a few in South East Asia (Jakarta, Kuching, Taipeh). But many of them - except perhaps some West African ones, generate enough traffic for a larger plane. And missing out on a niche offering to Nouakchott or Monrovia is not the end of the world.

    2. Max Guest

      Both of you forgot that Qatar Airways is installing a heavy premium product upfront that will decrease range and that the A321neo/LR/XLR has a higher belly cargo capacity (and container loading) unlike the 737MAX-10.

    3. S_LEE Member

      The heavy premium seats wouldn't decrease the range because it'll make less number of PAX. And you have a good point on the belly cargo capacity, but 737-10 has better fuel efficiency than A321LR/XLR.

    4. Max Guest

      Per passenger/mile the 737MAX-10 indeed has a better slightly better fuel efficiency on shorter routes, albeit the maintenance costs of the A320neo are lower. But if you attribute the cargo correctly, the Airbus wins. And let's not forget that Qatar has to pay for retraining from current A320 to 737MAX. For just 25 aircraft that's not worth it.
      We will either see Qatar ordering more 737MAX, switching back to Airbus (maybe via leasing companies...

      Per passenger/mile the 737MAX-10 indeed has a better slightly better fuel efficiency on shorter routes, albeit the maintenance costs of the A320neo are lower. But if you attribute the cargo correctly, the Airbus wins. And let's not forget that Qatar has to pay for retraining from current A320 to 737MAX. For just 25 aircraft that's not worth it.
      We will either see Qatar ordering more 737MAX, switching back to Airbus (maybe via leasing companies as intermediary?) or switching from the 737MAX to the rumored NMA from Boeing.

  10. Luke Guest

    And what can happen if Al Baker finds reason to get into a spat with Boeing and terminates the relationship someday as is with Airbus now. Then who can they buy planes from after that, Russia's Ilyushin?

    Can hardly picture QR fitting in their Q-suites into the Ilyushin IL-96 aircraft lol.

    1. Sergio Guest

      Sorry, but it they do it twice, they could be three-time. Eventually, Qatar will enter the club with Spirit, the "most hated airline"

    2. Max Guest

      The brand new Russian Irkut MS-21 actually is the best narrowbody aircraft currently on the market. Both from passenger comfort and airline economics.
      Only problem is low production rate and international supply chain for replacement parts.
      Technology used is a combination of cutting edge Russian technologies as well as supplied parts from established Western manufacturers.

  11. Sergio Guest

    wow, so much hate and anger as always. I don't see what the matter is, for you telling that the 737max is a simple 737, is the same as the 321xlr, is just a same a321 jut with modern engined that fly further. Please don't be like that. Airbus and Qatar asked for it

  12. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    "As you might have guessed based on the name, the 777X freighter is the cargo version of the 777X. The passenger jet isn’t even flying yet"

    The 777X passenger versions are certainly flying, though they're not yet in commercial service -- I see them flying nearly every day from Boeing's Seattle airports, and they are beautiful, majestic aircraft -- I'm very much looking forward to riding in one. They look like great airplanes. They're huge.

    ...

    "As you might have guessed based on the name, the 777X freighter is the cargo version of the 777X. The passenger jet isn’t even flying yet"

    The 777X passenger versions are certainly flying, though they're not yet in commercial service -- I see them flying nearly every day from Boeing's Seattle airports, and they are beautiful, majestic aircraft -- I'm very much looking forward to riding in one. They look like great airplanes. They're huge.

    A 737 MAX is just a 737, no better, no worse, and my only concerns about taking one would be sitting in a cramped coach seat. If QR can manage a nice premium cabin interior, I'd happily fly that.

  13. magice Member

    I am just surprised that the fight escalate to this point... I usually expect businesses to be a bit more rational than just humans, but oh well.

    1. Sergio Guest

      Don't expect anything good from man

    2. Bols59 New Member

      Like maybe if you're going to post in English not to slaughter it? It's impossible to take your many meaningless replies seriously when you make it difficult to understand what you're saying.

  14. Steve Guest

    As Martin says in a decade or so will the story be the same with just the names reversed and Qatar leaving Boeing for Airbus.

    1. Sergio Guest

      We don't know, it could be also that:" Airplanes makers live Qatar, one who was one time the world best airline, disappear from the sky"

  15. Iain Guest

    “Vote of confidence in the 737 max” erm yeah okay. The max, the aeroplane you can buy when no-one else will sell you aircraft.

    1. Clair Guest

      Always amusing how people to think. I am assuming you are someone who has no clue of the work and engineering that goes into building a aircraft. Keep being a keyboard warrior you bum lol

  16. Ali Guest

    I travel on Qatar at least twice a year and love their service. But a big NO to Max, I will switch to Emirates if I had to.

  17. Martin Guest

    lets see, what will be wrong with those planes, when its time for delivery.

  18. Dealgrabber Guest

    Ben, you always compare aircraft by passenger comfort. You are forgetting that passenger comfort is totally dependent on how airline chooses it layout of seats. It has nothing to do with which aircraft.

    1. Sergio Guest

      absolutely, it all depends on the airlines, it is just his opinion and not all agree. Well, it has changed for a better future for the 737 and 777x.

    2. Max Guest

      Airbus A320 family is in all ways superior to Boeing 737 because of wider cabin and better air quality. Both are not dependent on airline configuration.

    3. Vincent Guest

      Yeah or the windows not being on eye level. I’m 1,80m tall and have to bend down to look at the window on a Max. No isseus with A320’s. Not airline config related.

    4. Donato Guest

      You are partly right. Legroom can be easily modified, it is a simple business decision. Ther eis little an airline can change with width unless they go to 2-3 seating which is a drastic cut in revenue. The 320 is just that much wider.

  19. SR Guest

    Glad Boeing got the order ! Not sure if QR is overreacting here but I am gonna take their side against Airbus. I would not be happy if things start falling apart on new aircrafts, even if they are cosmetic like airbus claims !

    1. Dealgrabber Guest

      I agree airbus is getting greedy but they are forgetting that aviation is cyclic. They may be in good position now but it may change in future. They should have worked with QR on paint issue. Ifcourse paint is coming out earlier than expected, i would be concerned as an operator. I saw few others also reported similar issue on their A350.

    2. shoeguy Gold

      Airbus should be mindful of all of Boeing's missteps, which were mostly due to greed and arrogance. Agreed there. The MAX is the Ford Pinto of aviation.

    3. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Yeah, but here's the difference: Delta, SAS, Iberia, and Lufthansa have also reposted similar degradation to various degrees... but they're handling it with Airbus like actual adults, not petulant children.

      Be honest, did you even know they were experiencing the same?

      Al Baker's tactic of fighting Airbus through the media, is the equivalent of a bratty kid throwing a screaming tantrum in public, under the belief that he'll embarrass his parents into doing...

      Yeah, but here's the difference: Delta, SAS, Iberia, and Lufthansa have also reposted similar degradation to various degrees... but they're handling it with Airbus like actual adults, not petulant children.

      Be honest, did you even know they were experiencing the same?

      Al Baker's tactic of fighting Airbus through the media, is the equivalent of a bratty kid throwing a screaming tantrum in public, under the belief that he'll embarrass his parents into doing what he wishes.

      I can't blame Airbus at all, for finally having enough of him.

  20. אבי Guest

    As an American citizen I am glad that several thousand workers will have jobs

    1. Sergio Guest

      the thing is the pays you well XD

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Iain Guest

“Vote of confidence in the 737 max” erm yeah okay. The max, the aeroplane you can buy when no-one else will sell you aircraft.

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ConcordeBoy Diamond

Yeah, but here's the difference: Delta, SAS, Iberia, and Lufthansa have also reposted similar degradation to various degrees... but they're handling it with Airbus like actual adults, not petulant children. Be honest, did you even know they were experiencing the same? Al Baker's tactic of fighting Airbus through the media, is the equivalent of a bratty kid throwing a screaming tantrum in public, under the belief that he'll embarrass his parents into doing what he wishes. I can't blame Airbus at all, for finally having enough of him.

3
אבי Guest

As an American citizen I am glad that several thousand workers will have jobs

3
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