Boeing places priority on freighter production
Boeing has recently reiterated its commitment to the freighter market following healthy shares of the market in recent years.
The manufacturing giant's believe "the future of freighters is now" and have revealed that over the last three years, it has sold a total of 258 freighter, accounting for approximately 14% of Boeing's total commercial airplane value during that period.
"We've been on a great run with three consecutive years of record freighter orders," said Jim Edgar, regional director, Cargo Marketing - Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"But that's just the beginning - this year we're anticipating a series of milestones that bring about major improvements in fuel efficiency, environmental responsibility and operational flexibility," he added.
Following the commitment, Boeing has revealed that development of the 747-8F is running to schedule and production of the aircraft should begin in late 2008. This year, the manufacturer also plans to deliver the first 767-300 converted freighter and release its biennial World Air Cargo Forecast for 2008/2009 at the International Air Cargo Forum & Exposition in Kuala Lumpur during November.
According to Boeing, its freighters currently constitute more than 90% of the world's dedicated freighter capacity, with the 747 freighter family alone accounting for more than half of that capacity.
"We've been laying the groundwork for a transformation that really takes off in 2008. We began major assembly of the 777 Freighter in January and will move forward with the completion of assembly, flight test, certification and a fourth-quarter delivery of the first 777 Freighter to Air France, and we'll achieve critical design milestones for the 747-8 Freighter and the start of 747-8F production. These airplanes will be the key revenue generators for the air cargo industry for years to come," Edgar added.