LONDON – After today’s blockbuster order from Qatar Airways for the Boeing 777-8X Freighter, here is what we know about the aircraft so far.
As part of the agreement today, Qatar Airways will be the launch customer of the freighter variant by converting 20 of its 60 777X family orders to the 777-8X Freighter. The carrier will also be ordering two current 777 Freighters as well.
So we pose the question: What do we know about the Boeing 777-8 Freighter so far?
What we know…
In the press release produced by Boeing, there was some preliminary information about the aircraft and what it can offer to prospective customers.
According to Boeing, the 777-8 Freighter “will be the largest, longest-range and a most capable twin-engine freighter in the industry”.
The aircraft will have a payload capacity nearly identical to that of the 747-400 Freighter, coming in at a maximum structural payload of 118 tonnes, “allowing customers to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes”.
The range of the aircraft will come in at 4,410 nautical miles (8,167km) and will be able to offer a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions, and operating costs.
Boeing is going to achieve this through the inclusion of design improvements and innovative technologies, such as a new carbon-fiber composite wing and new fuel-efficient engines.
The American manufacturer will build the Freighter aircraft in its Everett, Washington facility, with Boeing investing more than $1bn into the Everett site to “support 777X production and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come”.
The Fight Is Now On… For Freight!
With Boeing finally entering as a competitor for Airbus’ A350 freighter, the fight is now on to secure orders for the next generation of freighter aircraft.
Airbus placed the A350F into the ring back in the Dubai Air Show and secured some orders from the following customers:
- Air Lease Corporation – 7 ordered.
- CMA CGM – 4 ordered.
- Singapore Airlines – 7 ordered.
For Airbus, this means that they have sold around 18 units of the Freighter against Boeing’s 20, already bringing together a close fight between the two sides.
With Qatar Airways having issues with the A350 passenger variant, it’s safe to say that Airbus will have to find a customer similar to them in order to fill such a gap.
Once again, however, Airbus seems to have the advantage in terms of delivery timetable. For example, on Singapore Airlines’ A350 Freighter order, deliveries are scheduled to begin in Q425.
On the Boeing side, deliveries of the 777X Freighter won’t take place until 2027.
However, that is not to say that Boeing could secure some more conversion orders from the existing 777X customers that operate cargo subsidiaries.
Each side has different benefits to their respective aircraft. The question is, especially with Farnborough on the way, who will prevail in this fight?