Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines on Friday announced a pre-agreement for the supply of five 777-8F freighter jets, a new variant of the 777X family.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has no known deadline for confirmation, but Ethiopian has treated the agreement as final. “The new 777-8 Freighters will be instrumental in this long journey of growth agenda. Today, our air cargo services cover more than 120 international destinations around the world with both belly-hold capacity and dedicated freighter services,” said Ethiopian Airlines’ Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam.
Launched in January with a firm order of 34 aircraft from Qatar Cargo, the 777-8F will be capable of carrying up to 112 tonnes of cargo, 10 more than the 777F, of which Ethiopian operates nine aircraft.
According to Boeing, the 777-8F has a payload capacity similar to the 747-400F, but consuming 30% less fuel.
Boeing’s long-term partner Ethiopian is the second company to express interest in the new widebody freighter, which is scheduled to enter service in 2027.
Based on the new generation 777X, the twin-engine jet has been redesigned with more efficient wings, large-scale use of composite materials and more fuel-efficient GE9X engines.
Its main adversary will be the A350F, from Airbus, which has a smaller capacity (109 tons), but a greater range, of 8,700 km against 8,176 km of the Boeing.