Boeing wins Qatar freight deal to be signed on Monday by Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Boeing logo is pictured at Congonha Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil August 14, 2018. REUTERS / Paulo Whitaker

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing (NYSE 🙂 Co is set to sign a launch order from Qatar Airways on a new cargo version of its 777X passenger aircraft on Monday, in a Washington ceremony coinciding with a visit by the Gulf Emirates said officials.

Reuters reported last week that the U.S. aircraft manufacturer was in advanced negotiations with the Gulf shipping company about about 34 of the planned two-engine cargo ships in a deal that is tentatively estimated to be worth $ 14 billion at list prices.

The White House said Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo, representatives of the government of Qatar, Boeing, GE Aviation and Qatar Airways will attend a signing ceremony at noon. 12:30 ET (1730 GMT) in the White House complex. Reuters previously reported on the planned event.

President Joe Biden will not attend the event.

Qatar Airways has publicly said it is interested in buying up to 50 new generations of cargo aircraft, with the higher figure expected to include options that could lead to additional purchases in the future.

It can also bridge the gap for the new cargo version of the upgraded 777X with a handful of extra current generation 777 cargo ships.

Boeing and Qatar Airways declined to comment.

The agreement represents the first order for a cargo version of the world’s largest twin-engine passenger aircraft, whose entry into service has been pushed back by more than three years to the end of 2023 or longer.

It comes as Qatar Airways is locked in a bitter dispute with Boeing’s European rival Airbus over surface defects on competing A350 passenger planes.

The airline had dropped a new cargo version of the A350 from its fleet renewal plans, citing disagreement over the paint and lightning protection flaws.

For Boeing, the agreement marks a respite from the ongoing impact of a safety crisis over the 737 MAX and delays with the 777X passenger version and 787 Dreamliner production problems.

The amount of additional future revenue for Boeing from the agreement will depend on discounts and how many of the cargo ships have been converted from previous orders for 777X passenger versions. Airplanes typically sell for about half the list price.

Qatar is the second largest customer for the world’s largest twin-engine jetliner with a total of 60 of the 406-seat 777X passenger versions on order.

Industry sources estimate that it could fall by about a third in the wake of design delays and a drop in short-term demand for long-haul passenger jet aircraft, suggesting that the number of new fuselages due to the freight order may be closer to 15.

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