Qatar Airways Cargo has taken delivery of three Boeing 777 freighters as the airline continues to build its cargo division.
The milestone also marks the 200th 777 twin-engine freighter to be delivered. The triple delivery comes as air freight is playing a pivotal role amid the COVID-19 pandemic – including transporting newly approved vaccines – and is projected to increase more than 4 per cent over the next two decades.
With the arrival of the trio of 777 freighters, Qatar Airways Cargo now operates 24 of the model along with two 747-8 freighters. Qatar’s dedicated freighter fleet serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and delivers freight on the belly-hold deck of passenger aircraft to an extensive network.
Greater capacity needed during pandemic
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, HE Mr 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 fulfil our customers’ logistical requirements and facilitate the continuity of global trade.”
The 777 freighter can fly 4,970 nautical miles and carry a payload of 224,900 pounds. The aircraft’s long range translates into significant savings for operators like Qatar Airways Cargo as fewer stops reduce landing fees, congestion, cargo handling costs and delivery times.
Freighters supporting humanitarian relief and medical goods
“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,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president, Commercial Sales and Marketing, The Boeing Company. “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 is Boeing’s top selling freighter. Customers from around the world have ordered 242,777 since the programme began in 2005, including a record 45 units in 2018. Boeing provides more than 90 per cent of the dedicated freighter capacity around the world, including new production and converted freighters.