Under a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance outsourcing contract, the new-production 747-8Fs are scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2012...

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. has placed two new Boeing 747-8F freighter aircraft with Panalpina.

Under a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) outsourcing contract, the new-production 747-8Fs (which will be operated by Atlas Air, Inc.) are scheduled to be delivered in the first half of 2012 and will enter service for Panalpina upon delivery. Panalpina has long been a customer of Atlas Air.

Atlas Air Worldwide says it is the only ACMI operator able to offer the new Boeing 747-8 Freighter to its customers. According to Atlas Air, the Boeing 747-8F is expected to deliver improved, next-generation performance in terms of payload, fuel efficiency, total cost per tonne-mile and environmental compliance.

“These new aircraft will give Panalpina increased capacity and revenue-generating capability in a growing global airfreight market, while improving fuel economy,” says William Flynn, president and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings. “We are proud to facilitate Panalpina’s continuing growth by providing industry-leading service that enables Panalpina to offer its customers a unique and highly flexible solution for time-definite airfreight.”

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter, which is 5.6 meters (18.3 ft) longer than the 747-400 freighter, is expected to be the largest, most-efficient, long-haul heavy freighter in the market. The 747-8F is expected to provide 16 per cent more revenue cargo volume compared with the benchmark 747-400F.

An additional 120 cubic meters (4,245 cubic feet) of volume afforded by the 747-8F’s longer fuselage offers space for four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets. For maximum speed and efficiency, cargo on the 747-8F can be loaded and unloaded using both the nose and side doors.

“Panalpina looks forward to experiencing the benefits of the latest freighter technology,” says Karl Weyeneth, chief operating officer of the Panalpina Group. “This is a significant development in our long and profitable relationship with Atlas Air and it demonstrates Atlas Air’s ability to provide leading-edge services that add value and benefit for our customers throughout our global network.”

The new aircraft will operate in Panalpina’s own controlled airfreight network, which serves key customers in industries that include healthcare, consumer and retail, oil and gas, automotive, and hi-tech. The “Dixie Jet” service launched in 1990 is part of this network.

“Our customers are growth-oriented market leaders, with a strategic focus on cargo,” says Flynn. “The global scale and scope of our aircraft and aviation operating services enable our customers to effectively expand their capacity and operations, and to capitalize on market opportunities around the world without having to wait for new production freighters to be built or having to commit their balance sheets to new aircraft purchases.”

Adds Flynn: “Our customers also benefit from the additional reliable solutions that we provide, including inter-operable crews, flight scheduling, fuel-efficiency planning, and maintenance-spare coverage.”

Panalpina is the second Atlas Air customer to enter into a long-term ACMI agreement for the new 747-8F, according to Atlas Air.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. and Titan Aviation Leasing, and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. Through Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighters.