UPDATED 9:34 AM PT – Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Top Boeing customer Qatar Airways recently expressed interest in a potential new freighter from the U.S. aviation manufacture, while urging engine-maker General Electric to invest in future technology as pressure builds on airlines to reduce emissions.
Plans for a freighter 777X have been delayed as Boeing wrestles with certification delays and weak demand for its passenger version. The chief executive for Qatar Airways told an online event the Gulf carrier would “definitely be interested to look into” a freighter 777X, however, he had not been notified by Boeing about plans to launch it.
“Some of these agreements involve Qatar Airways purchasing Boeing 777X freighters and large cabin aircraft from Gulfstream Aerospace,” stated Akbar al-Baker, Qatar Airways CEO. “And all officially signed for in a ceremony at the White House on the 9th of July 2019.”
He went on to say Qatar Airways would need to start replacing older 777X jets by the time Boeing or rival Airbus launch any new aircraft programs.
— Aeronews (@AeronewsGlobal) April 5, 2021
European plane-maker Airbus is also gauging airline interest in a freighter version of its A350 passenger jet, which would reportedly target a market key to Boeing if launched.
Qatar Airways has ordered 65 777X jets, according to Boeing’s website, and Baker said the airline would receive its first three in 2023 following delays. Boeing said earlier this year the jet would start deliveries in 2023, three years later than initially planned, with a longer and costlier certification process.