*The order will enable Qatar Airways Cargo to grow to become top global cargo carrier this year in both fleet and network
Qatar Airways and Boeing finalised a significant order for five Boeing 777 freighters during a ceremony at the White House in Washington DC on July 9.
In the presence of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and US President Donald Trump, a signing ceremony was held between Qatar Airways Group chief executive, HE Akbar al-Baker, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Kevin McAllister.
The order, worth $1.8bn at current list prices, was previously announced with the signing of a Memorandum of Undertsanding at the Paris Air Show in June.
Al-Baker said: “It is an honour to sign this landmark order for five Boeing 777 freighters in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and US President Donald Trump.
“We are very pleased to extend our long-term relationship with Boeing Commercial Airplanes. This order will enable Qatar Airways Cargo to grow to become the number-one global cargo carrier this year in both fleet and network and is a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to US manufacturing.”
McAllister said, "It is an honour to be signing this agreement today with Qatar Airways, who has been our long-haul partner for more than 20 years. As one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers, we are delighted that Qatar Airways continues to expand its freighter fleet with the 777 Freighter and we deeply appreciate their business and positive impact on Boeing, our employees, suppliers and communities.”
The Boeing 777 freighter has the longest range of any twin-engined freighter and is based around the Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft operating on the airline’s ultra-long-haul routes.
With a payload capacity of 102 metric tonnes, the Boeing 777F is capable of flying 9,070km. The aircraft’s range capability translates into significant savings for cargo operators, fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower handling costs and shorter delivery times.
The aircraft’s economics makes it an attractive addition to the airline’s fleet and will operate on long-haul routes to the Americas, Europe, the Far East, Asia and some destinations in Africa.
The carrier’s cargo volumes increased by 10% in 2018 over 2017 and its products have also performed exceptionally well with positive tonnage growth and several enhancements introduced. The carrier added belly-hold cargo capacity to several key destinations in its network and also received two brand new Boeing 777 freighters in 2018. It introduced freighters to two new destinations in May 2019; Guadalajara in Mexico and Almaty in Kazakhstan.
Qatar Airways Cargo, the freight division of Qatar Airways has witnessed significant growth over the past years, faster than any of its competitors.
From three Airbus 300-600 freighters in 2003, today it is one of the top cargo carriers globally with a fleet of some 23 freighters and more than 250 belly-hold cargo aircraft.
Cargo is a very important, profitable division of the Qatar Airways Group and makes an essential and paramount contribution to the group.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite.
Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted “Skytrax Airline of the Year” title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) to more than 160 destinations worldwide.