Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Qatar Airways have announced an order for two 777 Freighters. Launched in May of 2005, Boeing's 777 Freighter Program has tallied 51 orders for the world's most capable twin-engine freighter. This order was listed as unidentified last week on Boeing's Orders & Deliveries Web site.
"The State of Qatar is a country of robust economic growth," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. "While the cornerstone of our success has been focused on our passengers, we also recognize that the 777 Freighter brings asset value to our fleet as we address a growing regional freight market."
The Middle East has been experiencing continued strong air cargo growth and accounts for 5.8 percent of the world's tonnage into, out of, and within the region. The State of Qatar boasts the highest GDP per capita of any Gulf country and amongst the highest in the world.
"Seeing the 777 join Qatar Airways' fleet in both passenger and freighter variants truly underscores the fantastic operational efficiencies of this airplane," said Lee Monson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes' vice president of Sales for the Middle East and Africa. "We're proud to have this very highly regarded airline select Boeing's 777."
Qatar Airways will begin to receive the 22 Boeing 777s it has ordered in November 2007 with deliveries extending out to mid-2010.
Qatar Airways is one of only four airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking awarded by Skytrax, an independent industry monitoring agency. Last year the airline carried more than 6.3 million passengers and is expected to exceed 8 million passengers this year. The airline currently operates 52 aircraft from Doha to 70 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Indian subcontinent.
Doha's new international airport is scheduled to open in mid-2009 and will provide world-class freight facilities to accommodate up to 750,000 tonnes of cargo annually with additional capability planned for later development.
Boeing 777 Freighter Information:
The 777 Freighter will have a range of 4,895 miles (9,065 km) with a full payload and general market densities, making it the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter. The new cargo airplane will feature unmatched capacity for a twin-engine freighter and will be designed to facilitate seamless interlining with the 747 freighter.
The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner (Longer Range) passenger airplane and will share the advanced features of the 777 family such as state-of-the-art flight deck, fly-by-wire design and an advanced wing design that includes raked wingtips. The first 777 Freighter is scheduled to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2008.