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A Qatar Airways Cargo 777 (Photo: 72JanJ/Flickr)
Qatar Airways becomes Boeing 777-8 Freighter launch customer, Orders 737-10 MAX aircraft

In a surprise deal, Qatar Airways orders 25 737-10 MAX with another 25 on option

Summary

  • Qatar Airways to operate Boeing 777-8F from 2027
  • MAX orders comes after Airbus cancels its A321neo orders

During a visit to Washington on January 31, 2022, Qatar Airways Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker has signed a deal with Boeing to order 34 Boeing 777-8 Freighter with another 16 of the type on option worth more than $20 billion.

To make the 777-8F orders possible, the Qatar-based airline converted 20 of the 60 Boeing 777X aircraft it has on order. In addition, it is ordering another two current-generation 777 Freighter to support the booming cargo market which saw shipping prices surging over limited cargo capacity.

Boeing said that Qatar Airways would be the launch customer of the 777X Freighter and deliveries will commence from 2027.

The 777-8F fleet will be powered by GE9X engines in which the airline has signed a new order with GE worth $6.8 billion list price, inclusive of spare engines, a new order for GE90-115B engines, and a TrueChoiceTM services agreement to cover the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) of the engines.

“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”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker

In a surprise move, the airline has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a firm order for 25 Boeing 737-10 MAX with a further 25 on option, worth nearly $7 billion at current list price, in a tit-for-tat move after paint degradation issues on 21 of 53 Qatar Airways A350 aircraft forced it to ground the aircraft and seeking more than $600 million in compensation from Airbus over the groundings.

Qatar Airways posted a video detailing the paint degradation on the A350, showing several areas where the paint was cracking and peeling, exposing the copper mesh underneath that insulates the aircraft against lightning strikes.

Airbus terminated Qatar’s order for 50 A321neo aircraft, declining to provide further detail but intends to defend its position as no other airline operating the A350 has grounded the aircraft over paint issues.

Qatar Airways intends to operate the 737-10 MAX on short-haul routes.

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