Azerbaijan’s Silk Way West Airlines has become the new customer for the Boeing 777-8F, a new freighter variant of the widebody. The Baku-based airline has placed an order for two aircraft plus two purchase options. The cargo jets were already listed in Boeing’s customer list as from an “unidentified” customer, according to the company.
Founded in 2012, Silk Way operates a unique fleet of Boeing 747 freighters with 12 aircraft, five 747-8Fs and seven 747-400 convertibles for cargo.
“We are pleased to announce this order with our longstanding partner Boeing and become one of the world’s first customers for the newest freighter,” said Zaur Akhundov, Silk Way Group president. “Our fleet renewal plans will help to further reduce our operating costs and enhance fuel efficiency as well as make air freight services in our region more sustainable.”
Interestingly, Silk Way had announced in June a similar agreement with Airbus to have two A350Fs, a future rival to the 777-8F.
The two cargo jets are expected to star in the large-capacity aircraft market from 2027, when the ban on production of current cargo planes, enacted by the ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, will come into force.
The 777-8F has an advantage in payload capacity, of almost 113 tons against 109 tons of the Airbus, while the A350F is superior in range.
According to Boeing, the 777-8 Freighter already has more than 50 firm orders from customers such as Qatar, CArgolux, Lufthansa, All Nippon and Ethiopian.