Qatar Airways turns to South America as 777F fleet grows

Qatar Airways now operates twenty-one 777Fs.

Doha-based Qatar Airways Cargo is adding scheduled 777F flights to destinations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru beginning on Jan. 16, 2020, the carrier announced this week.

The planned network expansion follows the delivery last week of the carrier’s twenty-first 777F from Boeing. Qatar Airways Cargo (QR Cargo) has five more 777Fs on order as part of an agreement firmed up at the Paris Airshow. Deliveries are expected to commence in April 2020.

Although QR Cargo already has stations at each of the four South American cities identified for freighter service expansion, the carrier is making notable capacity increases. New flights include:

LATAM Cargo had previously dabbled with 777F operations in the region, but last year removed the last airframe of the type from its fleet in favor of 767Fs. Load imbalance, according to LATAM, made many of the north-south routes difficult to justify for Santiago-headquartered LATAM. Based on the number of intermediate stops QR Cargo is proposing for the new 777F flights, those imbalance issues still persist.

With hub operations at LUX, DOH and LGG, however, Qatar has been able to serve South America with an increasing number of round-the-world flights. With fewer roundtrip flights, Qatar’s freighter network  increasingly mirrors that of an all-cargo carrier.

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