According to reports, Cathay Pacific is about to place an order for up to six Boeing 777-8Fs, a special freighter aircraft from the 777X aircraft family.
Reuters reported that the airline based at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) was debating whether to acquire six of either the Airbus A350F or the Boeing 777-8F. The report’s sources were persons with knowledge of the decision. According to data from ch-aviaition.com, the average age of Cathay Pacific’s dedicated Boeing 747F fleet is 12.4 years old.
Currently, 14 Boeing 747-8F and six Boeing 747-400F are flown by Cathay Pacific. The airline runs a fleet of 51 Airbus A330, 28 A350-900, 18 A350-1000, 17 Boeing 777-300, and 41 777-300ER aircraft for the passenger market.
The Boeing 777-8F and Airbus A350F aircraft have not yet taken flight.
While Boeing has only produced the 777-9X, the bigger model of the 777X aircraft family, Airbus has stated that it has begun assembling several sections of the Airbus A350F, including the Center Wing Box (CWB).
The A350F’s entrance date has just been postponed by the European aircraft manufacturer, who revealed this during the presentation of its financial results for the first quarter of 2023. Previous plans called for the dedicated freighter to start operations in 2025.
Meanwhile, Boeing’s chief executive officer (CEO) and director, David Calhoun said during the company’s Q4 2022 financial results presentation that while everything is on course for the 777X, “the only issue that has created some concern over the last couple of years has been our agreement with EASA [European Union Aviation Safety Agency – ed. note] on some of the design principles […]”.
“[…] We think we’re making terrific progress with the EASA and I think we will have a coordinated regulator, regulatory approach to the Cert [certification], and so we’re staying on our targets,” Calhoun added.
Boeing has adjusted the timeline such that the first 777X-9 delivery will happen in 2025. The 777X production has been suspended and is expected to restart in 2023.
Deliveries of the 777X-8F are anticipated to start in 2027.