Qatar Airways Ltd. is set to place an order for more Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners at the Paris Air Show next week as the planemaker seeks to build momentum for a new version of the jet, people familiar with discussions said.
The Qatar purchase is a top-up to 30 787s the carrier previously agreed to buy, said two people, who asked not to be named because talks are private. The accord will spearhead a series of Dreamliner sales at the industry gathering as Boeing starts booking orders for a new model, the 787-10X, one of the people said.
Boeing, which is battling Airbus SAS for wide-body orders, is looking to overcome missteps on the Dreamliner, including a three-month grounding of the global fleet because of an electrical fault. The Chicago-based planemaker’s -10X, the largest Dreamliner, goes head-to-head against the Airbus A350-900, which conducted its maiden flight today.
Tom Enders, chief executive officer of Airbus-parent European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., said yesterday that “a few hundred” sales at the show for Airbus will include A350 orders. Among them are new commitments for the largest version, the A350-1000 due from 2017, one person said.
A spokesman for Qatar Air wasn’t immediately available to comment outside regular business hours in the Middle East. Boeing had no comment, spokesman Marc Birtel said.
Boeing’s 787-10X has already won a commitment from Singapore Airlines Ltd. for 30 planes, pending confirmation it will build the aircraft from 2018.