Qatar Airways has committed to order up to 50 Boeing 777-8 freighter jets, including 34 firm orders and options for 16 additional planes, in a total purchase worth more than $20 billion at current list prices.
The order, which marks the largest freighter commitment in Boeing history by value, will support hundreds of U.S. suppliers from across 38 states, sustain more than 35,000 U.S. jobs and provide an annual estimated economic impact of $2.6 billion during the contract's delivery period, according to Boeing.
Boeing will build the 777-8 Freighter in its Everett, Washington, factory, with the first delivery expected in 2027. The aircraft will include GE9X engines produced by GE Aviation. With a range of 4,410 nautical miles, the 777-8 Freighter has a maximum structural payload of 118 tonnes, allowing customers to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.
As part of the agreement, Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its 60 777X family orders to the 777-8 Freighter and order two of Boeing's current 777 freighters.
In addition, the companies signed a memorandum of understanding for an order of up to 50 Boeing 737-10 aircraft, including 25 firm orders and options for 25 additional planes, for a total value of nearly $7 billion at current list prices.
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Monday's announcement covers up to 102 airplanes total with a list price value of approximately $34 billion inclusive of engines.
The deal was solidified during a formal signing ceremony at the White House on Monday by Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal and Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker. Other officials in attendance included Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, White House National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun and Qatar's ambassador to the U.S., Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad Al Thani.
"The Biden administration has prioritized the revitalization of our manufacturing economy. This investment from our friends in Qatar represents another step toward fulfilling that priority," Raimondo said in a statement. "It means good jobs right here in America, billions of dollars more in exports, and a much-needed boost to America’s manufacturing sector."
Raimondo added that the deal "underscores the importance of revitalizing America’s semiconductor industry."
"Each of these aircraft will require an enormous amount of chips, which is why the administration is urging Congress to put a semiconductor bill on President Biden’s desk as soon as possible," she said.
Qatar Airways' move comes less than two weeks after Airbus ended its contract for 50 A321neo planes, a direct competitor to Boeing's Max jets, amid a months-long dispute over cracked paint and other issues on its A350 planes.
Boeing shares surged on news of the order.