...But May Have Jumped The Gun On Qatar 777 Order
While rival Airbus revealed its plans for an entirely new
plane to do battle with the Boeing 787 on the first
day of Farnborough 2006, just down the way Boeing announced two new
orders for existing planes... and, almost, a third.
Boeing and Jakarta-based Lion Air announced the airline has
ordered an additional 30 737-900ERs (Extended Range) airliners.
Valued at more than $2.2 billion at list prices, deliveries of
these additional 737-900ERs are scheduled to begin in early 2010
and continue through 2012.
Lion Air, the launch customer for the 737-900ER, announced its
first order for 30 737-900ERs and 30 purchase rights in July 2005.
These two orders combined total 60 airplanes. Deliveries of the
first order are scheduled to begin in 2007.
"The Next-Generation 737 is the most efficient single-aisle
family today, and we are thrilled that Lion Air has selected the
737-900ER to support its expansion and fleet modernization plans,"
Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Alan Mulally said.
"This fleet will help meet Lion Air's strategic expansion
goals," said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice
president of Sales, South-Southeast Asia. "With more range and the
lowest operating cost of any single-aisle jet in its class, the
737-900ER is an ideal fit to deliver superior economics and premier
In addition to the Lion Air order, Boeing also touted news that
LoadAir Cargo, a recently-launched air freight operation based in
Kuwait, has signed an order with the manufacturer for the delivery
of two 747-400 Extended Range Freighters. The deal is valued at
$494 million at list prices with both deliveries scheduled for
"This major investment demonstrates our commitment to build a
world-class cargo airline business based in Kuwait" said LoadAir's
Chairman, Sheikh Khalifa Ali Al-Sabah. "The 747-400ERF has
demonstrated the ability to perform unmatched cargo operations
across the globe, and we look forward to employing our new
freighters to offer a competitive solution to customers
...But What About Qatar?
Here's where it gets interesting,
though... Boeing had evidently hoped to feature a triple play of
new aircraft orders at Farnborough... but at the last minute, news
of a 20-plane order from Qatar Airways was pulled back -- after
Boeing pulled the official release from its website Monday
A spokeswoman for Qatar told the Dow Jones Newswires that there
may be a press conference in the next day or two, but no
announcement will be made until a deal on the purchase of the new
Boeing 777s is finalized... which means, apparently, that Boeing
jumped the gun on issuing the release. Qatar Airways was also
scheduled to hold a press conference at Farnborough Monday... but
later canceled the event, saying the carrier's chairman wasn't
Of course, in this business that might not be the WHOLE story...
especially as Airbus announced earlier Monday that its
newly-announced A350-XWB family will include a long-range Triple-7
fighter, the A350-900R.
Should Boeing be a bit suspicious? (Remember, just because
you're paranoid doesn't mean somebody isn't gunning for you.) Time