Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways has begun cargo operations using its brand new Boeing B777 Freighter, with the plane’s first flight departing from Doha for Amsterdam early Tuesday morning.
The new cargo freighter was delivered to the airline’s hub at Doha International Airport over the weekend following a non-stop flight from Boeing Everett factory in Seattle, Washington.
The B777F is the latest addition to the Qatar Airways fleet, now numbering 83 aircraft, and adds significant capacity to the airline’s burgeoning freighter network.
The new aircraft has a payload capacity of 102 metric tons, almost double the capability of the airline’s Airbus A300-600 freighters.
Over the coming weeks, the new freighter is set to operate to several of Qatar Airways Cargo’s dedicated freighter network points, including Amsterdam, Lahore, Dubai, Karachi, Chennai, Sialkot, Frankfurt, Amman and, from 1 June three weekly freighter services to Hong Kong.
Beyond, the new Boeing freighter will be used primarily on long haul routes connecting East and West transportation lanes, extending from Hong Kong in the Far East to the United States in the West.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the delivery of the new freighter signalled a dramatic shift in the airline’s cargo business.
“The capacity of the Boeing freighters is unrivalled and the plane’s economics make it an attractive addition to the Qatar Airways’ fleet.
“It’s an opportune time to be introducing more cargo capacity to our fleet as the State of Qatar is growing at a phenomenal pace, as are other parts of the Gulf region, and we are primed to take advantage of this growth.
“With a total of three new triple seven freighters joining the fleet in a little over 12 months, the airline’s dedicated cargo capacity will effectively quadruple in size,” said Al Baker.
The Boeing freighter has the longest range of any twin-engined freighter, and is based around the B777-200 Long Range aircraft of which Qatar Airways has six in its passenger fleet operating the airline’s ultra long-haul routes to Houston, Melbourne, and from June 24 Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
Al Baker added that the cargo facilities at New Doha International Airport will further cement the airline’s position as a key player in the region. The new airport is scheduled to be operational from the end of 2011.
“Qatar Airways is looking forward to capitalising on the growth in the region and subsequent demand for quick, efficient transportation of goods.
“The state of the art facilities at New Doha International Airport will further complement Qatar Airways’ cargo fleet growth as we develop our world class transportation hub.”
Qatar Airways has 16 Boeing B777 aircraft in its passenger fleet with the delivery schedule for the full order of 32 B777s, including a total of three freighters, to be completed by the end of summer 2011.
In addition, Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 83 aircraft to 89 diverse cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America. The airline has over 200 aircraft pending delivery with the orders worth more than US$40 billion.
*Images courtesy of Boeing
About Qatar Airways: Ranked Five Star for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency also voted Qatar Airways’ cabin crew Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running in 2009 and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travelers were polled. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 120 aircraft by 2013, by which time its global network will rise to 120 destinations. The airline has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 24 Airbus A320 Family of aircraft, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The carrier has aircraft orders for more than 200 jets worth over US$40 billion and is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012, by which time the New Doha International Airport would have opened. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
About Qatar Airways Cargo: Doha-based Qatar Airways Cargo provides cargo services to over 100 destinations worldwide using the cargo space available on the Qatar Airways passenger aircraft fleet as well as a dedicated network operated by its Airbus A300-600 and Boeing 777 freighter fleet. The airline’s cargo operation provides a global reach for customers in Africa, Europe, UK, USA, Middle East and Asia.
Qatar Airways Cargo has dedicated staff and facilities to ensure all transships are processed in an efficient, seamless manner. Transship facilities are used for products requiring special attention like perishables, high value commodities and live animals. Its warehouse at Doha International Airport has the capacity to handle around 400,000 tons of cargo annually. For further information, log onto www.qatarairwayscargo.com.
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132