Qatar Airways orders the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X Freighter

Earlier today, or yesterday, depending on which Time Zone you are in, Qatar Airways placed a massive order with Boeing for the 737 MAX aircraft, as well as the new Boeing 777X Freighter version.

Qatar Airways orders up to 100 Boeing Aircraft.

Coinciding with the meeting between US President Joe Biden and the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar Airways signed a massive deal with Boeing at the White House for the following aircraft:

  • Up to 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (25 confirmed orders for the 737 MAX 10 and 25 options)
  • Up to 50 Boeing 777X freighters (34 confirmed orders for the 777-8 freighter and 16 options)
  • Two current-generation Boeing 777 freighters

Qatar Airways 737 MAX

Qatar Airways becomes the launch customer for the Boeing 777-8 freighter version

It has been an open secret since days that Boeing has been seriously considering the 777X Freighter, but they were not willing to talk about it without a customer on hand. That Qatar Airways could be interested in the freighter version has been mentioned by no one less than Akbar Al Baker himself in recent days.

The 777X, which is expected to enter service in late 2023, will now have a freighter version in the 777X Freighter. This was a done deal, as there is an ICAO-agreed hard stop on the production of current generation freighters by 2027. While Boeing is the market leader in the cargo segment, Airbus recently launched the A350F version, which lapped up a few orders at the Dubai Airshow 2021, where it was launched.

The Boeing 777X Freighter will be based on the Boeing 777-8 platform, which will become the world’s largest twin-engine cargo jet with the most payload capacity, and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs compared to the previous generation aircraft. At the earliest, the 777-8 Freighter will enter service in 2027.

Qatar Airways has an outstanding order of up to 60 of the passenger version of the Boeing 777X, which includes 50 Boeing 777-9 aircraft and 10 Boeing 777-8 aircraft. Twenty of these orders are being converted to freighter variants.

On this occasion, Akbar Al Baker said,

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. Today marks a great day in the ever-building and strong relationship between Qatar Airways and Boeing. We certainly push Boeing hard to deliver upon our expectations, and the team at Boeing consistently strives to meet and exceed our expectations, giving the opportunity for us to be here today to launch the most significant new freighter aircraft for a generation.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stanley Deal said,

We are delighted to launch Boeing‘s next great cargo airplane – the 777-8 Freighter – with Qatar Airways, one of the world’s largest cargo carriers and our partner since the airline began operations 25 years ago. Our team is ready to create an airplane that will serve them well for many decades. Qatar Airways’ selection of the efficient 777-8 Freighter is a testament to our commitment to provide freighters with market-leading capacity, reliability and efficiency.

Qatar Airways 737 MAX 10 MoU: 25 orders with 25 options.

Another order that was placed alongside was the firm order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft + 25 options. This order is for the short-haul routes served by Qatar Airways and is a direct repercussion of the cancellation of the Airbus A321neo order of Qatar Airways by Airbus recently. Recently, things have not been great between the two parties, with the legal dispute going about the  Airbus A350 defects.

Ironically, Qatar Airways has ordered the MAX only to cancel it in the past. In 2016, QR ordered up to 60 737 MAX 8 aircraft, the first of which was delivered in 2018. Qatar Airways sent that aircraft over to Air Italy. In 2020, QR cancelled the order after Air Italy shut down. It is back in the queue to get some of the 737 MAX 10 version.

Unfortunately, the A321neo was a better product in this situation, given the extra 6-inches on the cabin width and a range of 4,000 nautical miles, compared to the 737 MAX 10, which can only fly at most up to 3,300 nautical miles.

Bottomline

If it is Boeing, Qatar Airways is going for it. They have signed up a massive order for the 737 MAX 10 and the 777X Freighter aircraft with Boeing. The Qatar Airways 737 MAX 10 will serve short-haul routes for the airline, while the 777X Freighter will form the backbone of their cargo fleet.

What do you think of the Boeing order placed by Qatar Airways?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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