Qatar Airways Cargo retires its last Boeing 747 freighters

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Qatar Airways Cargo’s Boeing 747F, registration A7-BGB, landed for the last time in commercial cargo service for QR Cargo as the airline fast-tracks its focus on greener flying. Arriving from Barcelona, Flight QR8807 touched down in Doha at 15:00 local time on Friday, 1 March 2024.

READ: Airfreight industry’s sustainable stance

A7-BGB joined the Qatar Airways Cargo fleet on 26 September 2017. Over the past seven years, the two iconic freighter aircraft were deployed on over 9,000 flights, totalling over 66,000 block hours and transporting almost 800,000 tonnes together.

Throughout its service, the number one destination where the 747 aircraft served was Incheon, which had 1,165 flights. Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Guangzhou were also among the top 10 destinations the cargo aircraft served.

From racing cars (30 can fit on a 747F) to thoroughbred race horses (up to 90 horses can be carried in one flight), Qatar Airways Cargo’s Boeing 747 freighters provide reliable, safe transport for many international customers. It was also a stalwart of the pandemic, carrying PPE and other medical equipment worldwide when much of the world’s aircraft were grounded.

Mark Drusch, Chief Officer of Cargo at Qatar Airways Cargo, commented: “When we welcomed our Boeing 747 freighters to the Qatar Airways Cargo fleet seven years ago, we were responding to a sharp rise in customer demand for capacity, which we were quickly able to fulfil.

“Our Next Generation freighter strategy is based on evolving customer expectations and our firm commitment to sustainability and efficiency. Efficiency is achieved through fleet harmonisation and simplification, and sustainability is improved by the latest in-flight and fuel technology. For these important factors, Qatar Airways Cargo is the launch customer for Boeing’s next-generation 777-8F freighter, the most fuel-efficient, lowest carbon footprint freighter in the cargo industry. We are committed to the industry’s most modern and cleanest freighter fleet.”

Qatar Airways Cargo has a firm order for 34 Boeing 777-8Fs, with options for 16 more, to augment its fleet of 27 Boeing 777 Freighters (with the 28th 777F joining the fleet in mid-March). Featuring advanced technology systems, airframes and engines, the 777-8 Freighter will be the most efficient, giant, long-range and capable twin-engine widebody freighter in the industry. The 777-8F will reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions by 30% compared to the 747-8.

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Author: Anastasiya Simsek