Qatar Airways and Boeing are likely to announce on Friday that they have sealed a deal for 30 more of the aircraft manufacturer’s 777 and 787 jets, worth about US$6.7 billion.
The two companies are holding a press conference at the end of the week in Washington DC, but have declined to say why.
The agreement follows news that the US government will soon approve a long-awaited deal for 36 Boeing F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, valued at about $4 billion.
Reuters reported that the Qatari government had delayed the Boeing passenger jet order, which had been expected in July, to put pressure on the US to approve its fighter jet deal, which has stalled for more than two years.
If it goes ahead, the wide-body passenger jet order will be welcome news for Boeing, which has been struggling to reach its sales targets this year.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in August that his airline was due to sign a “large” deal for new aircraft in the near future.
He didn’t specify that the carrier was in talks with Boeing. But his comments followed renewed frustration with Airbus over lengthy delivery delays of its new narrow-body A320neo.
If this deal with Boeing goes ahead, it will signal significant expansion for Qatar’s national carrier.
It currently has 43 Boeing 777s in two variants and 30 Boeing 787s flying its routes, with a further 106 777s and 30 787s on order.
Qatar’s national carrier is also still thought to be in talks with Boeing to buy up to 30 737 Max airplanes, which would be an entirely new fleet for the airline.
Akin to the A320, these single-aisle passenger aircraft could be flown on shorter routes.