The aviation industry has paid growing interest to Boeing’s new 777X aircraft, which is primed to be a popular seller among commercial airlines.
With an estimated cost of US$442.2 million, Boeing’s new flagship aircraft has the potential to be a ‘jack of all trades’ as a cargo carrier and a private.
However, delays in the aircraft’s certification mean that cargo airlines and private jet buyers will be waiting years for their planes even though Boeing is claiming that the 777X is on track to be certified in late 2023.
Yahoo! News is reporting that Boeing’s backlog with certifying its commercial aircraft like the 777X, 737 Max 7, and the 737 Max 10 is preventing the manufacturer from launching the 777X Freighter, according to Mike Fleming, Boeing’s senior vice president in charge of commercial customer support and commercial derivative programs.
It has been reported that Qatar Airways plans to grow its cargo fleet and may be among the first to place an order for the 777X Freighter once the program finally does launch.
Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, told Reuters that Boeing has offered the 777X Freighter for his cargo division. Boeing is already a natural choice to refresh the Qatar Airways Cargo fleet considering that the majority of its aircraft are Boeing 777 Freighters.
Airbus/Qatar Airways dispute
But a dispute with Airbus over the paint quality on the A350 XWB aircraft delivered to Qatar Airways may make Boeing an even more likely partner. A lesser-known division of Boeing is also preparing to launch the 777X as a private jet.
Cargo carriers are already aware of Boeing’s strengths in developing freighter aircraft as nearly every one of the manufacturer’s commercial aircraft has a freighter variant. The Boeing 777X Freighter would be the natural next step for cargo carriers flying the Boeing 777 Freighter.
Airbus, however, has secured momentum in the cargo realm by launching the A350 Freighter at the Dubai Airshow in November. Global airlines including Air France and Singapore Airlines have already placed orders and made commitments for the aircraft, which may fly as early as 2025.