Qatar on Thursday signed contracts worth more than ten billion euros for the purchase of at least 12 Rafale combat aircraft, and 50 Airbus A321 aircraft for Qatar Airways (see hereunder), during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Doha.
These contracts were signed in the presence of Mr. Macron and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The purchase of 50 Airbus A321s represents a contract of 5.5 billion euros and the purchase of the 12 Rafale will represent 1.1 billion euros, said the Elysee.
Earlier, in 2015, Qatar had acquired 24 Rafale for 6.3 billion euros.
By signing such agreements with France, Qatar is also trying to show that it is not isolated on the international scene when a serious crisis pits it against some of its Arab neighbours. On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt had indeed broken off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorist” groups and getting closer to Iran.
Supporting Qatar Airways’ expansion
Qatar Airways has re-affirmed its earlier order for 50 A320neo with a firm order for 50 A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex configuration). The selection of the largest member of Airbus’ single Family reflects the airline’s need for efficiency and additional capacity. This updated order replaces the original one placed in 2011.
Joining Qatar Airways’ fleet of 50 A320ceo from 2019 onwards, the A321neo ACF will support the continuous development of Qatar Airways’ network ’leveraging from the A321neo range capability and the unprecedented customer experience. The total value of the deal is at $6.35 billion at list prices.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “At a time when Qatar Airways is experiencing unprecedented growth and expansion the need for efficient, reliable and modern aircraft has never been greater. To answer our need for growth and additional capacity, the A321neo ACF is a world-class choice for our passengers and for our business. Qatar Airways is the fastest growing airline in the world and with this aircraft, we will operate the youngest fleet whilst delivering unprecedented comfort and services to our customers.”
“We are pleased that a signature airline like Qatar Airways has chosen the A321neo ACF.” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft. “This is an endorsement for the largest member of our single aisle family. It confirms the aircraft’s strong position as the ideal Middle of the Market airplane for the Middle East. We look forward to seeing the A321neo ACF flying in Qatar Airways colours and to contributing to the airline’s continued success and excellence.”
The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family, seating up to 240 passengers. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of at least 15 percent per seat from day one and 20 percent by 2020.
The A321neo ACF introduces new door and fuselage enhancements allowing airlines to make better use of the cabin space and also provide provision for more underfloor fuel capacity for up to 4,000nm transatlantic range.
The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.