Qatar Airways is renewing its fleet of 34 freighters with the larger 777X version in a $14 billion deal at list prices. Qatar has also expressed its interest in buying as many as 50 freighters which includes several options. According to our market experts, the deal could come in the event of the country’s ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to Washington. While the emir is to make his visit by early next week, Boeing Co is ahead with talks to secure the launch order.
Considering Qatar’s recent spat over a paint issue with Airbus, Boeing is more likely to secure the deal with no one else to compete.
What is so special about the Boeing 777X?
Boeing 777X was initially launched in 2013 in two variants; the Boeing 777 8 and 777 9. The Boeing 777X is said to have adopted many advanced features from the 787 Dreamliner. One of them is the folding wing-tips when not in flight, where the airport gates won’t have to be modified for the large freighter. Public can expect a modernised cabin with features such as larger windows, improved lighting and wider cabin.
Operating economy is another thing to consider. The Boeing 777X is using a higher proportion of composite materials in line with advancements in technology. This will reduce overall weight and increase strength and durability. General Electric GE9X, the most advanced jet engine powers this huge freighter. It is said to deliver a 5 percent increase in efficiency that will contribute to its lower operating cost.
Folding wing-tips are another performance boost for this giant freighter. Unlike other commercial aircrafts currently in production, the Boeing 777X has the largest wingspan that improves the lift with resultant fuel savings. The Boeing 777X can carry more than 400 passengers over a distance of 8200 Nautical Miles or 15,185 KM.
Why is Qatar interested in the Boeing 777X?
The Boeing 777X is a direct competitor to the Airbus 350. Based on the recent events that led to a legal clash between Airbus and Qatar, Airbus had terminated all business deals between the two. Since Boeing 777X is clearly a winner in terms of features and economy, Qatar is considering Boeing 777X to replace it’s freighter fleet.