Qatar Airways (QR, Doha Hamad Int'l) has placed a firm order with Boeing (BOE, Washington National) for thirty-four B777-8(F) dedicated freighters with options for 10 more, becoming the global launch customer for the type. It also ordered an additional two B777-200Fs of the current generation.

The B777-8(F) order comprises fourteen entirely new commitments and twenty conversions of an earlier order for sixty passenger B777Xs. Qatar Airways had an order for ten B777-8s and fifty B777-9s prior to the announcement and did not clarify which of these orders were converted. The first freighter is scheduled to arrive in 2027.

Boeing said that the B777-8(F) would offer cargo capacity similar to B747-400-based freighters but with a 25% reduction in fuel burn.

Qatar Airways' current cargo fleet comprises twenty-six B777-200Fs and two B747-8Fs, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. It also wet-leases two B747-400ERFs from AirACT (9T, Istanbul Atatürk).

While the Qatari airline has been hinting at a B777-8(F) order ever since its relationship with Airbus fell apart due to a dispute over A350 paint issues, the deal with Boeing also included a surprise, if tentative, commitment for B737-10s. The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 25 of these narrowbodies with purchase rights for another 25.

"Qatar Airways very much looks forward to adding the B737-10 to its fleet, with this new variant of the B737 being ideally suited to our short-haul network, allowing us an opportunity to further enhance our product offering for our customers, modernize our fleet and operate the most efficient aircraft in its category," Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said.

The Qatari airline had orders for forty A321-200Ns and ten A321-200NX(LR)s, but the deal was recently unilaterally terminated by Airbus in relation to the A350 dispute. This left Qatar Airways without any orders for new-generation narrowbodies. The airline had a non-binding Letter of Intent for up to sixty B737-8s with Boeing but scrapped it after the collapse of Air Italy (Milan Malpensa), which was due to operate the aircraft.