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Qatar Airways to operate in India? Firms up order for 20 Boeing 737 jets

Al Baker also said the CSeries jet by Bombardier could fit for the domestic Indian carrier

Reuters  |  Paris 

Qatar Airways firms up order for 20 737 jets, further options dependent on Italy, India

has firmed up an order for 20 jets and is awaiting the outcome of possible expansion in Italy and before deciding whether to exercise further options, the carrier's CEO said on Monday.

signed a letter of intent for up to 60 narrowbody 737 MAX 8 jets, worth $6.9 billion at list prices, last year.

"We have another 40 options and purchase rights, which we could exercise depending on the way forward with both Meridiana and our Indian carrier," Akbar told journalists at the Paris Airshow on Monday.

has been in talks over a stake in Italian carrier Meridiana and is planning to set up a domestic airline in

also said the CSeries jet by could fit for the domestic Indian carrier.

"Instead of ATRs or Q400s, I could use the CSeries on short-runway destinations in India," he said.

He added was not interested in larger variants of the 737 MAX because it was ordering A321neo jets.

The carrier has been in talks with Airbus to change an order for A320neos for the larger A321neo variant after problems with the engines made by Pratt & Whitney.

said he was close to finalising negotiations with Airbus to switch to the rival Leap engine made by CFM, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran.