QR was a possible launch customer for the A350F. When the dispute with Airbus became public, QR's CEO said it may have industrial consequences for Airbus.
Had QR launched the 77XF with Boeing earlier, that may have created momentum sufficient to swamp all prospects for the 350F. That is the reason in my view for Airbus launching its 77XF competitor "prematurely" - with many fewer launch orders than the 50 suggested beforehand.
As a result, Boeing will no longer have this market to itself, but, given current dominance, will probably emerge as the major player
If you show me where QR ever said they are going to be launch customers for the 350F I will back down.
It had always been a competition between the two.
IN FACT: https://aviationweek.com/air-transport/ ... -777x-a350
This was early last year. It has always been both
Pretty sure the A350F was tailor-made for QR but the fall-out between Airbus and Qatar Airways suspended the commerical talks very close to the sale at the begining of last year. Since then we heard that Airbus is looking for customer to launch an A350F and QR made noise about a large freighter competition.
Since the Dubaï Air Show where the A350F configuration was disclosed, we saw that the 777-XF was not ready then but QR mind was made for other reason ...
And now, with Airbus retaliation following QR's legal action, it is obvious A350F at QR is not happening and QR has no other choice than to go with 777-XF if they want to replace 777-F and grow so they want to close the deal as fast as possible not to look hurt by Airbus move.
In fact : Airbus don't want to do business with QR anymore.
On the 777-XF, I would wait to see if the order is mostly a brand new one or massive conversions for Qatar Airways and I would also wait to see if other customers follow when the plane spec will be out.
For now, most of the freighter market knows what the A350F can do, but they are waiting to "meet" the 777-XF to choose.