LE BOURGET - Qatar Airways today announced an order for 14 firm and six option Airbus A330-200/-300 aircraft powered by GE's advanced CF6-80E1 engines. The firm engine order is valued at approximately $250 million. 

Additionally, Qatar Airways and GE Aircraft Engines signed a MCPHSM (MCPHSM) agreement for ten years, valued at $300 million. The program uses GE Engine Services' maintenance network, engineering resources, and program management expertise to maintain an individual customer's fleet based on a flat rate per engine flight hour, enabling the customer to forecast operating costs with greater accuracy. 

Qatar Airways is one of the world's fastest growing airlines. From its base in Doha, the airline serves 40 destinations throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.  

The new long-range A330s are part of the aggressive growth program the airline has undertaken to expand its route structure. In 2002, Qatar began taking delivery of eight CF6-80E1-powered A330-200s it had ordered in 2001; there are three aircraft still to be delivered from the original order plus one additional aircraft ordered in 2002, which is still to be delivered. Delivery of the new aircraft is scheduled to begin in 2004 and extend through 2008. 

"We chose the CF6-80E1 two years ago after completing a very extensive technical evaluation" said Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. "In operation in our fleet today, GE has provided excellent support for this fleet." 

"We are delighted that Qatar Airways has made us such an integral part of its long-term growth plan and value our relationship and cooperation in many technical fields," said David Calhoun, President and CEO of GE Aircraft Engines. 

To meet the challenges of the very demanding environment in which Qatar operates, the aircraft will be powered by the -80E1A3 model, rated at 72,000 pounds takeoff thrust. GE's CF6-80 turbofan, the best-selling commercial engine in its thrust class, with some 90 million flight-hours logged more than 10 different models of wide-body airliners.  

GEAE, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma Moteurs of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at: http://www.geae.com.