DUBAI — Boeing is in advanced discussions to sell a proposed new freighter version of its 777X passenger plane, a top executive said on Saturday.
The US planemaker is poised to launch what would be the world’s largest twin-engined freight plane as European rival Airbus seeks buyers for an A350 cargo version.
Boeing is also sticking to plans to deliver its delayed 777X passenger version in 2023, Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of commercial sales and marketing, said.
Speaking at a news conference on the eve of the Dubai Airshow, Mounir said a recovery in commercial flying had achieved a “strong foothold” after COVID-19 lockdowns.
Qatar Airways has said publicly it is in negotiations with Boeing on the possible purchase of a 777X freighter, while FedEx is widely seen as another potential early buyer.
Freighter traffic has increased as passenger planes that typically carry about half of airborne goods were grounded by the pandemic.
Boeing is meanwhile “getting close” to resuming deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner after suspending them to deal with production flaws, Mounir said, while stressing the schedule depended on ongoing talks with regulators. (Reporting by Tim Hepher Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter)