The State of Qatar’s national airline, Qatar Airways, has selected the A320neo as the reference aircraft for expanding its short to medium haul fleet and has increased its order for the A380. The agreement signed at the 2011 Dubai Airshow, is a firm contract for 50 A320neo aircraft and five additional A380s.
The A320neo is an option for the A320 Family and incorporates new engines and large “Sharklet” wing tip devices, which together will deliver 15 percent in fuel savings, representing some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year.
“The A320neo promises to be a great aircraft which is why we have chosen it to form the backbone of our future single aisle expansion. Together with our increase in A380s and our orders for A350 XWB, we are continuing investing in an integrated Family of the world’s most modern and fuel efficient aircraft,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO.
“Qatar Airways supported the development of the Airbus A320neo very early on. It is with great pride that we are announcing this large order today including an additional five A380s,” said John Leahy Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “We appreciate having built a unique relationship with our friends at Qatar Airways over the years.”
Qatar Airways has ordered a total of 43 A320 Family aircraft directly from Airbus and, including leased aircraft has 38 in its fleet. The last four of the A320s on order will be provisioned for “Sharklets” following a recently signed agreement. Qatar Airways’ total A380 order increases to 10 aircraft following its initial order for two made in 2003, which was later raised to five in 2007. Qatar Airways’ current in-service fleet also includes the region’s largest number of A330s (29).
The A320neo has over 95 percent airframe commonality making it an easy fit into existing fleets while offering up to 500 nautical miles (950 kilometres) more range or two tonnes more payload. The A320neo reduces fuel burn by 15%, which is equivalent to 1.4m litres of fuel – the consumption of 1000 mid size cars. This saves 3600 tonnes of C02 per aircraft per year, the amount of CO2 absorbed by 240,000 mature trees. The A320neo aircraft also has a considerably smaller noise footprint. Sales of the neo have reached over 1,200 orders and commitments in under a year, making it the fastest selling aircraft ever.
Typically seating 525 passengers in a three class layout, the A380 is capable of flying 8,300 nautical miles / 15,300 kilometres non-stop, enabling direct service from Qatar to New York. As of today total firm orders for the aircraft stand at over 240 from 18 customers worldwide.