June 04, 2007

Qatar Airways to make profits

Idoha: Qatar Airways expects to make its first profit by 2010 and could sell shares to local and foreign investors three years after that, its chief executive said yesterday.

The rapidly expanding carrier signed a deal on May 30 to buy 80 A350xwb aircraft from European planemarker Airbus with a total list price of $16 billion.

"We will be privatised in the first half of the next decade and the IPO will be offered to local and international companies," Akbar Al Baker said.

The IPO will not exceed 49 per cent of the company's stock, so existing agreements between Qatar and other countries would not be compromised, said Al Baker, adding that he expected the airline to hit a profit by 2010 to 2011.

"We should be able to go to an IPO by the time of the delivery of the A350s," he said.

Qatar airways is the largest all-airbus operator in the Middle East and is a customer of the A380 superjumbo.

Last week, it added an additional 20 A350 aircraft to an existing order of 60.

"The first deal was about $13bn and now with the 20 A350-1000s, it will rise to just over $16bn," Al Baker said.

Source: www.gulf-daily-news.com

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