DUBAI: Qatar Airways increased its order for Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner to six from two and expects to take delivery by September next year, the carrier’s chief executive said on Tuesday.
"At the moment, we will be receiving six 787s next year; initially it was two," Akbar al-Baker told reporters at a travel and tourism conference.
"The delivery is still scheduled for September next year."
Baker also said Qatar’s national carrier hoped to conclude talks with Canada’s Bombardier over the purchase of 20 to 30 C-series aircraft by July.
"We have not concluded our talks," he said.
"It is only Bombardier we are talking to … we hope we can conclude it by the airshow in Farnborough," he added.
Qatar Airways will increase its aircraft to 120 by 2013 from 82 currently and has placed orders for more than 200 aircraft worth more than $40 billion.
The airline, which is launching flights to Spain, Brazil and Argentina this year, also plans to expand to Iraq when it gets more aircraft deliveries and has rights to fly to Irbil, Najaf and Baghdad, Baker said.
In April he said the airline faced losses of $5-6 million per day due to volcanic ash-related groundings.
Qatar Airways plans to build and buy as many as four five star hotels in the next three to four years he said, as part of the firm’s expansion plans.
"The airline is tourism and travel and so we have to provide the whole package," he said.