Qatar Airways has placed an order for two 777 Freighters from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.The order is in addition to the 20 Boeing 777s Doha-based Qatar Airways already plans to introduce to its growing fleet. The two new B777-200 freighters will complement the 14 B777-300ERs and six B777-200LRs already ordered.
Qatar Airways’ first B777-200 freighter will be delivered to the airline in 2009 to coincide with the opening of the New Doha International Airport, which will be able to handle 750,000 tonnes of cargo per annum during its first development phase.
The B777-200F will be used primarily on Qatar Airways’ Far East and European routes and will be supplemented by Airbus A300-600F freighters that operate on regional routes feeding the airline’s Doha hub.
Launched in May 2005, Boeing’s 777 Freighter programme has tallied 51 orders for the world’s most capable twin-engine freighter.
“The State of Qatar is a country of robust economic growth,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker. “While the cornerstone of our success has been focused on our passengers, we also recognise 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% of the world’s tonnage into, out of, and within the region.
Qatar Airways will begin to receive the 22 Boeing 777s it has ordered in November 2007 with deliveries extending out to mid-2010.