Boeing’s final B747s are expected to be delivered between May and October 2022, ‘to meet strong customer demand in the air freight market, particularly the fast-growing e-commerce and express sectors’.
US air cargo specialist Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings announced today it has ordered what are expected to be the last four new B747-8 freighters built by aircraft giant Boeing.
The world’s largest operator of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft said the four new B747-8Fs are expected to be delivered between May and October 2022, explaining that the transaction “furthers the company’s strategic growth plan” and said the aircraft will enable the company “to meet strong customer demand in the air freight market, particularly the fast-growing e-commerce and express sectors”.
It said the company’s business model provides the flexibility to operate these new aircraft for customers or take advantage of dry-leasing opportunities through its Titan Aviation Leasing subsidiary.
Atlas said its investment in these new aircraft also “underscores its ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship through the reduction of noise, aircraft emissions and resource consumption”. The advanced engines on the 747-8F reduce noise by approximately 30% compared to the previous generation of aircraft.
The airline group said the new 747-8F order “will also provide the company with enhanced flexibility to balance future capacity needs with customer demand, as a number of its legacy 747-400F aircraft leases will be up for renewal over the next several years”.
John Dietrich, Atlas Air Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The 747-8F is the best and most versatile widebody freighter in the market, and we are excited to bolster our fleet with the acquisition of these four aircraft. This significant growth opportunity will enable us to capitalise on strong demand and deliver value for our existing and prospective customers.
“Dedicated freighters – like those operated by our Atlas, Polar and Southern subsidiaries – will continue to be in demand as the global airfreight market, particularly the e-commerce and express sectors, continues to grow.”
The 747-8F provides 20% higher payload capacity and 16% lower fuel consumption than the 34 “very capable” B747-400Fs that Atlas also operates alongside its fleet of 10 B747-8Fs, five passenger 747-400s, and four Large Cargo Freighters (LCFs), and has 25% higher capacity than the new-technology 777-200LRF.
“It is also the only factory-built freighter with nose-loading capability in production, which will serve the long-term needs of the airfreight market,” Atlas said.
Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, commented: “Atlas Air began operations 28 years ago with a single 747 and it is fitting that they should receive the last 747 production airplanes, ensuring that the ‘Queen of the Skies’ plays a significant role in the global air cargo market for decades to come. With the global air cargo fleet expected to grow by more than 60% over the next 20 years, we look forward to delivering these airplanes and supporting Atlas Air’s Boeing fleet well into the future.”
Atlas Air Worldwide is a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services. It is the parent company of Atlas Air, Southern Air Holdings. and Titan Aviation Holdings, and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide.
Its companies operate the world’s largest fleet of 747 freighter aircraft and provide customers with Boeing 747, 777, 767 and 737 aircraft for domestic, regional and international cargo and passenger operations.