Friday, June 24, 2011

Air Freight Operators Turn to Boeing for New Cargo Carriers

Etihad and Cargolux Display Latest Aircraft
Shipping News Feature

USA / ABU DHABI / LUXEMBOURG – Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has been displaying two of their newest additions to its air freighter offerings with a fresh delivery of a B777 to Etihad Crystal Cargo and the displaying of a new 747-8F model at launch customers Cargolux’s Luxembourg head quarters.

Etihad’s aircraft (pictured top) is the airlines first Boeing freighter. The 777 Freighter is the world's longest-range, twin-engine freighter and features the lowest trip cost of any large freighter.

"We are excited about this latest addition to our dedicated Crystal Cargo freighter fleet and we expect the 777 Freighter to deliver exceptional value to us and to our customers," said Kevin Knight, Etihad Chief Planning and Strategy Officer, who also leads the Crystal Cargo division.

"With its proven track record, long-range capabilities and excellent operating efficiencies, the 777 Freighter will allow us to economically deliver cargo further than ever before. Our decision to invest in the 777 Freighter helps ensure that we are well positioned to serve our customers' long-term needs."

Based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger airplane, the 777F can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometres) with a full payload of 102 tons. With high-cargo density and 10-foot (3.1-meter) interior height capability, the 777 Freighter provides a cargo capacity normally associated with larger airplanes.

"The 777 Freighter has consistently delivered the highest levels of reliability and efficiency since it entered service in 2009, making it the long-range freighter of choice for a number of airlines and cargo operators around the world," said Marty Bentrott, senior vice president for Sales, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

"We are confident that the 777 Freighter's high capacity and range, combined with the lowest trip cost of any large freighter, will add a tremendous amount of value to Etihad's air cargo operations."

Meanwhile, Cargolux was displaying one of the latest Boeing 747-8F's, fresh from its international debut at the Paris air show. Cargolux, who recently had a large stake bought up by Qatar Airways, will be the launch customer for the new model with delivery scheduled later this summer.

Cargolux, the world’s biggest cargo-only airline, have ordered thirteen of the new B747-8F’s, with options for an additional seven.

“The new Boeing aircraft is our future,” said Frank Reimen, Cargolux President and CEO

“It is a vehicle to secure our sustainability and profitability for the next decade. With the 747-8F, we will operate a game changer in terms of cost, capacity and environmental performance and a good long-term bet for our shareholders. I particularly appreciate the improved environmental performance of this aircraft, translating into sustained noise reduction, lower emissions and increased fuel efficiency.”

The new 747-8 is the successor to the B747-400 that has formed the mainstay of the Cargolux air freight fleet. In comparison to its predecessor, the new 747-8F features improved performance in terms of range, payload, environmental compliance, reduced noise and fuel efficiency. It is 5.6 meters longer than the 747-400 and offers an increase in payload capacity of 134 tonnes compared to 113 tonnes for the older model.

The 747-8F was also responsible for another first as it was flown to Paris with a bio fuel/kerosene blend, the first time a transatlantic flight had been undertaken with such a fuel by a commercial airliner. Sten Rossby, Cargolux’s Chief Technical Officer, was one of the pilots on the flight.