Qatar Airways Orders 50 Boeing 777X Freighters

White House signing ceremony with (left to right): Stan Deal of Boeing; Qatar Ambassador Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al Thani; Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Akbar Al Baker of Qatar Airways. (Oliver Contreras/Sipa via Bloomberg News)

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Boeing Co. formally launched its 777X freighter as Qatar Airways committed to purchasing up to 50 of the wide-body cargo haulers, kicking off sales of the planemaker’s first new jet program in nearly five years.

The deal includes a firm order for 34 of the 777-8 aircraft plus options for an additional 16 jets, the companies said Jan. 31 at a signing ceremony at the White House. Qatar also signed a commitment with Boeing to purchase 25 of the largest version of Boeing’s 737 Max narrowbody, they said.

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The announcement featured Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker and other officials that coincided with a meeting between Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and President Joe Biden.

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