The golf airline wants to modernize and expand its cargo fleet. To this end, Qatar Airways Cargo plans to buy 30 jets. Boeing is said to have brought the 777 XF into play.
Qatar Airways Cargo boasts on its website that it is “one of the leading air freight companies” and serves more than 60 destinations worldwide via Doha. And if you look at the freight tonne kilometers offered – one unit means that one tonne of freight is transported over one kilometer – that is by no means an exaggeration. Only Fedex was ahead of the golf airline in the last year before the crisis.
While the Americans offered a total of 17.5 billion freight tonne kilometers in 2019, the Doha airline offered 13.0 billion. That is more than the following UPS with 12.8 billion and Emirates with 12.0 billion. However, Qatar Airways Cargo does not seem to have enough with that. It plans to expand its fleet of currently 24 Boeing 777 Fs and two 747-8 Fs.
Boeing is the market leader in freighters
They want to order 30 new cargo planes or more, said Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker according to the Reuters news agency at an event these days. And apparently Boeing made him a surprising offer: the American aircraft manufacturer has offered the Golf airline the 777 XF, as Al Baker explained, a cargo version of the Boeing 777 X that officially does not yet exist.
Given the current boom in air freight, however, it is logical that Boeing should give the 777 XF a boost. The company, with its official headquarters in Chicago and operations in Seattle, is currently the market leader with the Boeing 777 F, which is based on the 777-200. Airbus is currently looking into bringing an A350 F onto the market and snatching market share from the Americans. A decision could be made soon.
Airbus with A350 F is also in the running
Qatar Airways showed interest in the A350 F early on. “Different hulls have different capacities. And we would need the capacity that corresponds to an A350 ”, Al Baker told aeroTELEGRAPH two years ago. The European aircraft is still in the running for the planned order of around 30 jets, despite the offer from Boeing.
Al Baker is now very interested in additional aircraft. “Because we have to start replacing our old freighters now,” he said, according to Reuters. However, the oldest of Qatar Airways Cargo’s freighters are only eleven years old. It should therefore also be a question of further expansion.