ARLINGTON, WASHINGTON — Battle for Cathay Pacific's $2 Billion Order: Boeing 777-8F vs. Airbus A350 Freighter.

Cathay Pacific is nearing a deal to purchase Boeing 777-8F freighters valued at approximately $2 billion, as the Hong Kong-based airline initiates the partial replacement of its fleet of dedicated 747 cargo jets, industry sources revealed on Monday.

This decision comes after a fiercely contested battle to secure the business of one of the world's top-five freight carriers. Cathay Pacific had been comparing Boeing's all-freight version of the future 777X jet series with an upcoming cargo model of Airbus' existing A350.

According to industry insiders, the competition involved an initial acquisition of approximately six aircraft, with an estimated value of $2 billion at list prices before customary airline discounts.

Cathay Pacific stated that it currently has no immediate announcements to make, adding that it continues to invest in expanding its fleet by incorporating advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft. A spokesperson for the airline emphasized that there are no specific updates or announcements at this time regarding the fleet.

Both Boeing and Airbus declined to comment on the ongoing commercial discussions.

Boeing introduced the 777-8F freighter after receiving an order from Qatar Airways in January 2022, following Airbus' launch of the A350 Freighter six months earlier. Airbus aimed to challenge its American rival's dominant position in the freighter market.

In November of the previous year, Cathay Pacific informed analysts that it was exploring options for additional freighter capacity and actively collaborating with aircraft manufacturers to acquire new freighters after 2025.

Given its strategic location within pre-pandemic trade routes, Cathay Pacific's decision regarding the next phase of its cargo development is considered a significant test for both freighters, as the airline currently operates underlying 777 and A350 passenger models.

Based on the most recent data from the International Air Transport Association, Cathay Pacific ranks as the world's fifth-largest air freight carrier and the third-largest traditional freight airline, excluding specialist express parcel carriers FedEx and UPS, trailing behind Qatar Airways and Emirates.