Boeing launches new freighter with Qatar Airways as first customer

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

Boeing has launched its new 777-8 freighter with an order for 50 of the planes from Qatar Airways.

The 777-8 freighter will be the largest, longest-range twin-engine freighter in the industry.

Qatar Airways has committed to 34 jets, with options for 16 more. The deal is the largest commitment to freighters in Boeing history, the company said, with a value of more than US$20 billion at current list prices.

“We are delighted to launch Boeing’s next great cargo airplane – the 777-8 freighter – with Qatar Airways, one of the world’s largest cargo carriers and our partner since the airline began operations 25 years ago,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Stan Deal.

“Our team is ready to create an airplane that will serve them well for many decades. Qatar Airways’ selection of the efficient 777-8 freighter is a testament to our commitment to provide freighters with market-leading capacity, reliability and efficiency.”

Longest range

The 777-8 freighter will be the largest, longest-range twin-engine freighter in the industry. It has a payload capacity nearly identical to the 747-400 freighter and a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs.

The first freighter is expected to be delivered in 2027.

“Boeing has a long history of building market-leading freighter aircraft and Qatar Airways is honoured to have the opportunity to be the launch customer for the 777-8 freighter,” said Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group CEO.

“We certainly push Boeing hard to deliver upon our expectations, and the team at Boeing consistently strives to meet and exceed our expectations, giving the opportunity for us to be here today to launch the most significant new freighter aircraft for a generation.”

Design innovations

The 777-8 freighter is the newest member of the 777 family. It will have a new carbon-fiber composite wing and new fuel-efficient engines. It will have a range of 4,410 nautical miles (8,167 km)and  a maximum structural payload of 118 tonnes.
Boeing will build the 777-8 in its Everett, Washington, factory. The company has invested more than $1 billion into the Everett site to support 777X production and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.

Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its pre-existing 60 777 family orders to the 777-8 freighter. Qatar Airways is also ordering two current 777 freighters.

Customers from around the world have ordered more than 300 777 Freighters since the program began in 2005.
Boeing and Qatar Airways also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a firm order of 25 737-10 aircraft and purchase rights for 25 additional airplanes.

Qatar Airways serves more than 140 destinations worldwide.