Industry Boeing launches 777-8 Freighter, signs deal with Qatar Airways

Boeing has launched a new freighter variant with the 777-8F and has signed a commitment for a total of up to 100 aircraft with Qatar Airways, including the new freight variant and the 737 MAX.

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With the Boeing 777-8 Freighter, the manufacturer expands its cargo airliner portfolio to meet the rising demand for larger and more modern freighter. Launch customer will be Qatar Airways, as announced during a ceremony held in the White House.

The new freighter aircraft is based on the 777X aircraft and is set to become the longest-range twin-engine freighter in the industry. Qatar Airways has signed for a firm 34 jets with 16 additional purchase rights.

The carrier is already operating with smaller 777F jets and has had 60 orders for the 777X passenger variant, of which 20 aircraft will be converted to the 777-8 Freighter. The aircraft will be produced in Everett.

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Boeing has a long history of building market-leading freighter aircraft and Qatar Airways is honored to have the opportunity to be the launch customer for the 777-8 Freighter, an aircraft which will not only allow us to further enhance our product offering for our customers, but also help us meet our objectives to deliver a sustainable future for our business.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal added: “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 […] 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.”

Deliveries of the first 777-8 Freighters are planned for 2027. Until then, the manufacturer will design and develop the newest variant of the 777X. The freighter will reportedly have a range of 4,410 nautical miles (8,167 km) and a maximum payload of 118 tonnes.

In addition to the 50 freighter aircraft, Qatar Airways and Boeing have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a firm 25 Boeing 737-10 MAX aircraft with purchase rights for 25 additional MAX airliner.

“Qatar Airways very much looks forward to adding the 737-10 to its fleet, with this new variant of the 737 being ideally suited to our short-haul network, allowing us an opportunity to further enhance our product offering for our customers, modernize our fleet and operate the most efficient aircraft in its category,” explained Akbar Al Baker.

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