DALLAS – Boeing CEO David Calhoun told FreightWaves the company is considering creating a Boeing 787 Freighter version to replace the older Boeing 767F aircraft. Moreover, he was optimistic about the cargo market, saying freighter sales would keep increasing in the future.
Currently, Boeing only offers two different freighter aircraft: the 777F and the 767F. Boeing still produces the 747-8F, but the last aircraft should be delivered before the end of the year, and this means airlines cannot order this airplane anymore. The aircraft manufacturer also offers freighter conversions for its smaller 737-800.
The Boeing 777F already has a replacement, with the new Boeing 777-8F, which is already popular among Boeing customers. However, the Boeing 767, which first flew in 1981, is long in the tooth.
It would make sense for the airframer to prepare a replacement for this medium-sized long-haul freighter.
Boeing 787 Freighter
Boeing is therefore thinking about a freighter version of its long-haul Dreamliner. While it has not been officially confirmed by the company, David Calhoun said the 787 is the best option for the company. Indeed, the aircraft has already been produced a lot in its passenger version, and the company sees high demand for such an aircraft.
A Dreamliner freighter version would allow cargo airlines to transport freight using less fuel, and reduce carbon emissions. It would be a new, modern freighter, which could compete against Airbus’ modern freighter, the Airbus A350F, which is the future freighter version of the new A350.
David Calhoun told FreightWaves, “We know there’s value in it [a 787 freighter version]. But we’re going to pace all of our freighter developments. […] We have a 777 coming down the pike. The 767 is still in wild demand. Someday. Probably likely. But we have not pulled any triggers.”
With the 787 deliveries starting again this summer after a two-year break due to production flaws, Boeing hopes to grow its program. The aircraft type is therefore the best option for Boeing when the company tries to replace its 767F. However, we may have to wait a few years before the decision is officially announced.