Atlas makes huge freighter order
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has ordered 12 Boeing 747-8 Freighters, worth around US $3.4 billion at list price. Atlas will begin taking delivery of the airplanes in 2010 and expects all 12 aircraft to be in service by the end of 2011.
“With this order, Atlas Air remains the leader in providing the capacity and operational flexibility required by our air cargo customers using the state-of-the art freighter platform,” said William J. Flynn, president and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings. “Worldwide air cargo traffic is projected to grow by over 6% annually for the next two decades, tripling over current traffic levels for our ACMI, charter and scheduled service customers.”
Atlas operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 Freighters, with twenty 747-400 and fifteen 747-200 Freighters in service with operators throughout the world. The 747-8F shares around 70% of its parts with the 747-400F, which will help keep Atlas keep a lid on its training and parts costs.
According to Boeing, the 747-8 Freighter improves on the current 747-400F with 16% more payload capacity, while maintaining its popular nose-door-loading capability. The plane also boasts new wings and General Electric GEnx engines that are designed to improve fuel efficiency. Including the Atlas order, thirty 747-8 Freighters have been ordered by three customers since the plane was announced in November 2005.