Qatar Airways would like to be the first customer for a freighter version of Boeing Co.’s 777X aircraft, and Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker even suggested he’d prefer a mid-2020s debut. The only problem: the U.S. planemaker hasn’t yet committed to build a cargo version of its upgraded wide-body passenger plane.
The Persian Gulf carrier that’s operating one of the industry’s biggest freighter fleets ordered five current-generation 777Fs on Wednesday in a deal worth $1.75 billion at list prices. Al Baker used a signing ceremony at the Paris Air Show to advocate for a larger, fuel-efficient model to fit with a wider cargo-fleet overhaul that will start in 2025.
Boeing plans to begin delivering a new 777X version of its popular passenger jet in 2020, although an engine glitch and regulatory review could delay its market entry. Executives have hinted that they’d roll out a cargo-hauling version later in the decade. Read More