Cathay Pacific to add Boeing 777X-8Fs to fleet with potential new order: report

Cathay Pacific reportedly chose the Boeing 777X-8F over the Airbus A350F for its new freighter

Cathay Pacific is reportedly nearing an order for up to six Boeing 777-8Fs, a dedicated freighter aircraft belonging to the 777X aircraft family. 

The Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)-based airline had been considering ordering six of either the Airbus A350F or the Boeing 777-8F, according to a report by Reuters which cited people familiar with the matter. Cathay Pacific is looking to renew its dedicated Boeing 747F fleet which, according to data, has an average of 12.4 years old.  

Cathay Pacific currently operates six Boeing 747-400F and 14 Boeing 747-8F aircraft. In the passenger segment, the carrier operates a fleet of 51 Airbus A330, 28 A350-900, 18 A350-1000, 17 Boeing 777-300, and 41 777-300ER aircraft. 

Both the Airbus A350F and the Boeing 777-8F aircraft have yet to fly. 

While Airbus has announced that it has started the assembly of certain parts of the Airbus A350F, including the Centre Wing Box (CWB), Boeing has only built the 777-9X, the larger version of the 777X aircraft family. 

The European planemaker recently delayed the A350F, announcing during its Q1 2023 financial results presentation that the entry date of the aircraft would slip into early 2026. The dedicated freighter was previously slated to enter service 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.  

Production of the 777X has been paused and is scheduled to resume in 2023, with Boeing adjusting the schedule for the first 777X-9 delivery to take place in 2025. 

Meanwhile, 777X-8F deliveries are expected to begin in 2027. 

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