Boeing 777-8F: The Best Replacement for Cathay Pacific?

Boeing 777-8F: The Best Replacement for Cathay Pacific?
Photo Credit: Boeing.
James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read

As some of the freighters in the fleet continue to get older, could the Boeing 777-8F be the best replacement for Cathay Pacific?

Data from shows that the carrier has six Boeing 747-400Fs with an average age of 14.5 years and 14 -8Fs at an average age of 10.4 years.

This means that at some point, there will have to be consideration about replacement going into the future.

Cathay Pacific Rumored To Acquire The Boeing 777-8F…

Boeing 777-8F: The Best Replacement for Cathay Pacific?
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

A report from Reuters has stated that the carrier is looking at placing an order for the Boeing 777-8 Freighter, which will be used as a partial renewal.

Such a partial renewal will likely be for the -400 variant of the freighters that the carrier has as they do get older.

Although no immediate announcement is set to be made by the airline, it is expected that there could be some form of movement at the Paris Air Show, a period rife with aircraft orders.

The carrier did tell analysts back in November last year that the airline has been looking for freighter capacity past 2025, so we do have a rough estimation in the delivery announcement to the delivery day itself.

Conversion From Quad-Engine to Twin-Engine Freighters…

Boeing 777-8F: The Best Replacement for Cathay Pacific?
Photo Credit: Boeing.

If Cathay Pacific does make this order, they wouldn’t be the first carrier to make this sort of conversion from quad-engine to twin-engine freighters.

Back in October 2022, Luxembourg-based carrier Cargolux placed an order for 10 Boeing 777-8 Freighters and will be replacing the older 747-400 Freighters in their fleet.

So, if anything, the scenario with Cathay Pacific could very well be similar, as the -8 Freighters have more technology and also better durability at this current point in the decade.

Maintenance for the -400 will become more expensive as the years go on, with the -8 Freighters eventually facing the same fate as Boeing doesn’t actively produce those aircraft anymore.

Photo Credit: Boeing

Qatar Airways was also another example of this, placing an order for up to 50 777-8 Freighters as well back in January 2022, which will replace some of their older freighters as well.

With there being quite the similarity in capacity offering compared to the 747 Freighter family, it does make sense that cargo carriers are looking in this direction.

That being said, however, it will be interesting to see how Airbus will respond to this, especially with there being a focus on selling some more A350 Freighters, which will come in due course.


Photo Credit: Boeing

What remains clear is that the sales momentum for the freighter variant of the Boeing 777-8 is in full effect at the moment.

It’s going to be interesting to see how many of these will sell at the Paris Air Show, which is due to happen in under four weeks’ time.

Market capture will be vital for Boeing as they go up against Airbus with the A350 Freighter, so all eyes will be on both sides to see who gets the most orders on that front.

It is all to play for.

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