Boeing Continues Onward with 777-8 Freighter Momentum

Photo: Boeing

LONDON – One thing that Boeing can take from 2022 is its steady continuation of sales momentum with the 777-8 Freighter that it unveiled this year.

This momentum has spiked in intensity since the Farnborough Air Show 2022, where multiple deals were announced, with such customers beginning to confirm orders.

Without further ado, let’s take a look into who has ordered the 777-8 Freighter so far, as well as what is in store for the manufacturer’s sales program with this aircraft type.

Qatar Airways Is The Largest Customer…

Photo: Boeing

Qatar Airways was the first customer to order the aircraft type, with this kicking off the sales program for the aircraft type.

The carrier made the order back in January, with a firm order for 34 jets, with options for 16 more, offering a total purchase valuation of $20bn at list prices.

HE Akbar al-Baker said the following on the order back then:

“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”.

“Today marks a great day in the ever-building and strong relationship between Qatar Airways and Boeing.”

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

With that in mind, this order will no doubt keep the Cargo wing of the airline efficient in costs and fuel and will provide generous fleet renewal to the overall fleet.

Ethiopian Airlines Wants Five Units…

Photo: Boeing

By March, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was tied up between the American planemaker and Ethiopian Airlines, who signed the deal for five 777-8 aircraft.

The MoU to order the 777-8 Freighter will enable Ethiopian Airlines to meet expanding global cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term sustainable growth.

At that time, the then-CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, said the following about the order:

“Consistent with our history of aviation technology leadership in Africa, we are pleased to sign this MoU with our longstanding partner Boeing, which will make us join a select group of launch customer airlines for the fleet.”

“In our vision for 2035, we are planning to expand our Cargo and Logistics business to be one of the largest global multimodal logistics providers on all continents.”

“To this effect, we are increasing our dedicated freighter fleet with the latest technology, fuel-efficient and environment-friendly airplanes of the 21st century. We have also started the construction of the largest E-commerce Hub Terminal in Africa,”

“The new 777-8 Freighters will be instrumental in this long journey of growth agenda. Today, our air cargo services cover more than 120 international destinations around the world with both belly-hold capacity and dedicated freighter services.” 

Ethiopian Airlines has, in recent times, expanded its cargo offering substantially, which was why at that time, it wasn’t surprising that they placed this MoU.

ANA Turns Head at Farnborough…

Photo: Boeing

All Nippon Airways turned heads at the Farnborough Air Show through its choice to select the 777-8F for the next step in its cargo operations.

This coincided with an order signed at the airshow for 20 737-8 aircraft, plus options for 10 more, although no round figure was actually confirmed for how many 777-8s.

At the time, Koji Shibata, the President & CEO of ANA Holdings, had this to say about the order:

“We are pleased to partner with Boeing to introduce new airplanes into our world-class fleet that further our commitment to sustainable aviation”.

“The efficiency, reliability, and range capability of the 737 MAX make it an ideal airplane to refresh our narrow-body fleet and provide our passengers with the highest level of comfort onboard.”

“In addition, the 777-8 Freighters will add flexibility and efficiency to our air cargo network. The 737 and 777 have long been a mainstay of the ANA fleet, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Boeing with these new airplanes.”

We will probably see a confirmation order made in the near future for the 777-8Fs, but that was another big step for Boeing in the program, as ANA became the first carrier in Asia to choose the aircraft type.

Cargolux Firmed Up For 10, Options For Additional Six…

Photo: Boeing

Last month, Cargolux finalized its order originally announced at the Farnborough Air Show for 10 777-8 Freighters, with options for an additional six aircraft as options.

Richard Forson, the CEO & President of the Luxembourg-based cargo carrier had this to say last month on the order:

“The agreement we signed today will consolidate Cargolux’s position as a global leader of air freight services.”

“Replacing our aging fleet of 747-400 Freighters with the latest technology and fuel-efficient 777-8 Freighter model will contribute to our long-term sustainability program while continuing to offer our customers the tailored service they expect”.

By that point, Boeing had booked more than 50 orders for the aircraft type. Signing a major customer like Cargolux for this aircraft type was important for the continuation of their relationship, stemming mainly from the Boeing 747-400 Freighter.

Silk Way West Airlines Signs For Up to Four Aircraft…

Photo: Boeing

Then, just this week, Silk Way West Airlines finalized its order with Boeing for two firm 777-8 Freighter aircraft, with options for an additional two, should they choose to exercise.

Such a deal marked Silk Way West as the first customer in the Eurasia region to order the aircraft, which Boeing was keen to emphasize.

Zaur Akhundov, Silk Way Group President said the following on the finalization earlier this week:

“We are pleased to announce this order with our longstanding partner Boeing and become one of the world’s first customers for the newest freighter”.

“This year, Silk Way West Airlines celebrates its 10th anniversary, and over the past decade, the carrier has been operating an all-Boeing fleet.”

“Today’s agreement reflects our ongoing investment in Boeing’s market-leading freighters. Our fleet renewal plans will help to further reduce our operating costs and enhance fuel efficiency as well as make air freight services in our region more sustainable.”

So across these many orders, we are beginning to see global coverage of the aircraft type, which will be used as a strategy for further sales momentum later down the line.

What Next For The Freighter?

Photo Credit: Boeing

With quite a strong start to the year and securing orders for well over 50 units so far, Boeing will want to take this momentum to 2023, especially with the Paris Air Show around the corner as well.

Boeing, are, of course, taking the fight to its European counterpart Airbus with the A350 Freighter and will want to maximize as much of that market share as possible.

Looking ahead, however, Boeing still needs to get the passenger variant of the 777X into commercial service. And that is quite some time yet before that happens.

With major delays ongoing, Boeing is going to have to keep the peace as much as possible to keep those customers onboard and provide a technically incredible aircraft that is going to beat Airbus to the punch.

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