Cathay Pacific is reportedly eyeing the Boeing 777-8 freighters for its Cathay Cargo division, with an order for six units seeming likely.
Boeing launched their 777-8F following solid demand in the freighter sector. The A350F and 777-8F are what many believe to be the next generation of freighters, and as such, customers are already looking to pronounce to either grow or renew their fleets.
Cathay Cargo has 14 active 747-8 freighters and only six 747-400Fs. As such, per Reuters, Cathay Pacific believes the acquisition of the 777-8F will allow them to renew their 747-400Fs still currently flying.
Cathay Pacific is already familiar with the 777 series and even the 777X. It actively flies the 777 for its long-haul operations, with the -300ER being its most popular aircraft currently in service. Additionally, it already has commitments placed for the 777-9, so an order for the freighter variant of the 777X would make sense.
The 777-8F will likely enter service towards the backend of the decade, many years after Airbus’ A350F, which will see a 2026 entry into service.
Boeing’s delays come following the race to get their 777-9 certified, with now a 2025 estimated entry into service date. From there, the 777-8 must also be cleared to fly with passengers, and the 777-8F can follow. So again, this a lengthy process Boeing will be hoping doesn’t incur delays.