767F faces production extinction; Boeing ponders 787F, market says

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March 14, 2022, © Leeham News: Boeing's launch of the 777-8F program, with an entry-into-service of 2027, solves part of its freighter challenges.

But it still faces the question of what to do with its aging 767-300ERF.

Both airplanes face a 2027 deadline by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that limits emissions and noise for today’s in-production aircraft. The 777-200LRF and 767-300ERF fail the new standards.

ICAO crafted the new standards in 2017. Aircraft that fail to meet them must go out of production from 2028 unless an exemption is granted. It’s left to the member governments to formally adopt and enforce the standards—or grant an exemption to them.

Boeing 767-300ERF (top). Concepts of Boeing 787-8F and Boeing 787-9F (middle and bottom). Source: Leeham Co.

The 777-8F solves the upper end of the problem for Boeing. The airframer is seeking an exemption for the smaller 767-300ERF. Industry officials think it unlikely Boeing would receive an indefinite exemption. But a short-term exemption to bridge to another airplane is viewed as possible.

LNA learned in January Boeing is considering developing a freighter out of the 787. Stan Deal, the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, confirmed at the Singapore Air Show last month that this study is underway.

With Airbus for the first time in its history offering a new-build freighter that is seen as not only competitive to Boeing airplanes but in some quarters viewed as superior, Boeing’s decades-long dominance for cargo aircraft is under serious threat for the first time.

LNA has undertaken an analysis of the 787-8, 787-9, and 767-300ERF to look at which model makes the most sense for Boeing to pursue. LNA’s Bjorn Fehrm will detail our analysis later this week. Today, we’ll look at the background and strategic issues for a second production Boeing freighter.

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