Qatar Airways Cargo kicks off 2021 with a trio of B777Fs

By Damian Brett

Qatar Airways Cargo kicked off the year with the delivery of three Boeing B777 freighters as the industry prepares for another year of tight capacity.

Qatar Airways Cargo now operates 24 of this airplane model – with two more on order – along with two B747-8Fs as it continues to expand its all-cargo capacity.

The delivery comes as Covid-19 vaccination programmes around the world get underway, which is expected to put extra pressure on an already tight market due to the loss of much of the world’s bellyhold capacity.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “With the arrival of these new freighters, we are injecting more capacity in the market which is very much required during the pandemic.

“The added capacity will also enable us to support the logistics around the Covid-19 vaccination, which is projected to be one of the greatest logistical challenges for the industry.

“With our investments in innovation and fleet, we are able to fulfill our customers’ logistical requirements and facilitate the continuity of global trade.”

The airline has rapidly expanded its freighter fleet over recent years as it aimed to become the world’s largest international air cargo carrier, an ambition it achieved in 2019 – although it is still behind FedEx when domestic volumes are taken into account.

The milestone also marks the 200th B777F to be delivered.

Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president, commercial sales and marketing, The Boeing Company, added: “During these challenging times, Qatar Airways Cargo has been transporting humanitarian relief and medical goods to those in need, and we are proud that their growing fleet of 777 freighters is supporting such a commendable effort.

“We deeply appreciate our long-standing partnership with Qatar Airways and their confidence in the 777 Freighters as the backbone of their expansive global air cargo operations.”

The 777 freighter can fly 9,200 km and carry a payload of just over 102 tonnes. The 777 Freighter is now Boeing’s top selling freighter. Customers from around the world have ordered 242 777 freighters since the programme began in 2005, including a record 45 units in 2018.

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