Cargolux Selects 777-8F As 747-400F Replacement

Cargolux 777-8F
Cargolux 777-8F
Credit: Boeing

FARNBOROUGH—Luxembourg-based carrier Cargolux has announced orders for 11 777-8Fs as part of a broader commitment which could see the airline acquire around 20 additional aircraft.

Boeing says only that the recently launched freighter variant of the 777X is “the preferred solution” for the carrier’s 747-400 replacement and is not confirming the specific number of aircraft on order in the first tranche. Cargolux is the largest operator of Boeing widebody freighters in Europe with a combined total fleet of 30 747-400 and 747-8 Freighters.

The Cargolux deal is the latest in the growing line-up of operators signing on for the 777-8F version following its launch in January on the back of a firm order from Qatar Airways for 34 of the type with options for a further 16. Since then, the list has been added to with a memorandum of understanding for five from Ethiopian Airlines in March, followed more recently by orders from Lufthansa for seven and ANA Cargo for two.

Boeing says it has now booked more than 50 orders for the model, which provides a cargo capacity close to that of the 747-400F but burns 25% less fuel. The 777-8F will share the same 235 ft. 5 in. wingspan as the passenger models but will have a 232 ft. 6 in.-long fuselage—a 3 ft. 6 in. extension over the previously defined 777-8. The extra fuselage length will provide space for up to 31 freight pallets on the main deck, plus existing space for 13 pallets and additional bulk cargo, or 5,995 ft.³, in the lower holds. 

Maximum takeoff weight will be increased to 805,000 lb., compared to 775,000 lb. for both 777X passenger versions, providing a range of more than 4,400 nm. and a maximum revenue payload of 247,500 lb. (112.3 tons). The aircraft will be configured for a maximum structural payload of 260,000 lb., permitting longer nonstop operations. 

The same fuselage length will now be shared with the 777-8 passenger version, which Boeing now confirms will not be delivered until after the planned debut of the freighter in 2027.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.