Qatar Airways is to be the launch customer for Boeing’s new 777-8 freighter with an order for up to 50 aircraft.
The Middle East carrier has signed a firm order for 34 jets and options for 16 more worth more than $20 billion at current list prices and the largest freighter commitment in Boeing’s history by value.
The 777-8F will be the largest and longest-range twin-engine freighter ever, with payload nearly identical to the four-engined 747-400 freighter and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs.
It has a range of 4,410 miles (8,167 km) and a maximum structural payload of 118 tonnes, helping operators to reduce stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.
Under the agreement, Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its 60 777X family orders to the 777-8 Freighter. The carrier is also ordering two current 777 Freighters to capitalize on the buoyant air cargo market.