Contradicting reports that the 777X design requirements were a joint Emirates/Qatar Airways effort, Emirates President Tim Clark told Aviation Week that his airline alone defined the design with Boeing for four years before Qatar came on board.
Qatar’s CEO Akbar Al Baker told journalists at the Dubai air show that “when you negotiate with a supplier, you get the benefit of economies of scale. It has been a very successful negotiation for both of us.” That was interpreted as having been a long-planned process in which both carriers were equally involved.
However, Clark says Al Baker came on board at a later stage. “Akbar knew we were doing that and he loves his [Boeing 777-300] ERs. He said , 'If what you are doing with Emirates is as good as what you guys did for the -ER, then Qatar Airways will buy whatever spec you come up with.' – and he put it in writing to Boeing.” He adds: “What you saw was Akbar signing up to the spec of airplane that we did almost on his behalf. Paradox? Maybe.”
In the end, the arrangement benefited everyone and gave Boeing “immense confidence in their ability to launch the plane,” Clark told Aviation Week during the Dubai air show.
Watch the video to see Clark’s full comments.