© Reuters. File photo: Boeing logo displayed on the screen, on August 7, 2019 at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, USA. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / File Photo
Authors: Tim Hepher and Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI (Reuters)-Boeing (NYSE:) said on Saturday that it is in in-depth negotiations to sell the cargo version of its future 777X passenger aircraft, and Airbus expects to close a deal on the A350 freighter soon because The giants of the aerospace industry envisioned an e-commerce boom after a pandemic.
Boeing also said that the production of the 787 Dreamliner is about to end, but that the time to resume normal deliveries is entirely in the hands of regulators.
“We are having fairly in-depth discussions with some customers. From a design and requirements point of view, (Cargo 777X) looks good,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing.
The American aircraft manufacturer will launch what it says is the world’s largest and most efficient new freighter, while its European rival Airbus is looking for buyers to buy what it describes as a lighter and more efficient version of the A350 freighter.
Airbus Commercial Director Christian Scherer said at another press conference on the eve of the Dubai Airshow that Airbus plans to “soon” announce the launch order for the A350 freighter.
“I am very satisfied with the response of the world and the regional market to the A350 freighter,” he added.
The 777X freighter is expected to be based on the smaller of the two versions of the 777X series, called the 777-8.
It was only launched after the passenger version of the 777-8, but Munir stated that he could be ahead of the 777-8 and its sales lag behind the main variant of the 777-9.
Munir said that Boeing insisted on its plan to deliver the 777-9 in 2023. The President of the Emirate of Dubai, 777X’s largest customer, severely criticized Boeing for delaying about three years and lacking certainty in the delivery date.
The supervisor’s call
Qatar Airways has publicly stated that it is negotiating with Boeing for the possible purchase of a 777X freighter, and FedEx (New York Stock Exchange) is widely regarded as another early candidate. Airbus hopes to cooperate with Singapore Airlines (OTC: ).
Due to the pandemic, passenger aircraft that normally carry cargo in the cargo hold have been shut down, and the volume of cargo has increased.
Both Mounir and Scherer, sales managers of the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers, said that the market is recovering, although there are still doubts about the demand for the largest wide-body passenger aircraft.
Mounir said that at the same time, Boeing is close to resuming the delivery of its 787 Dreamliner. Prior to this, the company has suspended deliveries in response to production defects and has made commitments with Chinese regulators on the re-certification of the 737 MAX in China.
But he emphasized that Boeing will not be ahead of the US or Chinese regulators, which make the final decision on time.
The 787 was plagued by production problems and has stopped delivering since May. In July, the Federal Aviation Administration stated that some 787 aircraft had manufacturing quality problems.
After nearly two years of safety grounding, the 737 MAX was approved by major Western regulatory agencies at the end of last year, but China has not yet approved its re-use.
“Whether it’s the FAA or international regulatory agencies watching us and asking us questions…we will abide by them,” Munir said.