Doha-based carrier Qatar Airways has signed an agreement to purchase 24 Airbus A320 aircraft.
The new aircraft will be configured with a two-class cabin, and are set to be used on regional, east European and south west Asian services. Deliveries of the A320s are due to begin in November 2009, running through to the end of 2012.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said: “The additional Airbus A320s and A321s give Qatar Airways a firm footing in the rapid development and expansion of our regional network.
"Qatar Airways is determined to grow with the world’s best aircraft at the heart of a modern and fuel efficient fleet, and this A320 Family order will ensure that our narrow-body fleet is the youngest and best equipped in the region."
Airbus president and chief executive officer Tom Enders said: “Qatar Airways’ partnership with Airbus dates back to the early 1990s, and we take great pride that it is stronger today than ever before.
“Qatar Airways already operates a modern fleet of eco-efficient Airbus aircraft and we are delighted that, with the equally efficient A320s, Airbus is forming the backbone of Qatar’s modern fleet.”
Qatar Airways currently operates 19 A320s, the Middle East’s largest fleet, as well as four A340-600s and 29 A330s.
The airline recently confirmed that it will launch flights to Sydney within the next nine months (see online news May 7).
Report by Sara Turner