Cathay Pacific nears Boeing 777-8F freighter order

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Cathay Pacific Airways is close to placing an order worth around $2 billion for Boeing 777-8F freighters, industry sources said on Monday.

The selection follows a tough battle for the business from one of the world’s top five cargo airlines, which had been comparing the cargo version of the future Boeing 777X family of aircraft to the Airbus A350F.

Industry sources have said the competition involved an initial purchase of around half a dozen aircraft, worth some $2 billion at list prices before traditional airline discounts.

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“We continue to invest and grow our fleet with the addition of new state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient aircraft. We have no specific updates or announcements to make at this time regarding the fleet,” an airline spokesman told Reuters.

Boeing launched the 777-8F freighter with an order from Qatar Airways in January 2022, six months after Airbus launched development of the A350 Freighter in a bid to weaken its U.S. rival’s traditional grip on the market for freighters.

Cathay Pacific told analysts last November it was looking at more freighter capacity and working “actively” with planemakers to acquire some of the new freighters coming up after 2025.

Cathay Pacific is the world’s fifth-largest air freight carrier and the third-largest traditional freight airline behind Qatar Airways and Emirates when specialist express parcel carriers FedEx and UPS are excluded, according to latest available data from the International Air Transport Association.

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