Atlas Air has cancelled delivery of three “early build” Boeing 747-8 Freighters, lowering the total number of the airplanes covered under its firm order to nine. The company placed the original order for 12 airplanes in September 2006, but chose to exercise its termination rights on the first three, apparently due to Boeing’s failure to meet performance guarantees.
The company now expects to take delivery of three 747-8Fs this year, four next year and two in 2013. It has placed the first five under long-term ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) contracts.
“As prudent asset managers, terminating the first three aircraft was the right decision for our fleet, our customers and our stockholders,” said William J. Flynn, president and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide. “We expect the remaining 747-8Fs in our order to be better-performing aircraft than those we have terminated.”
Boeing has rescheduled delivery of the first three aircraft to early 2012 and moved three more recently built, better-performing 747-8 Freighters to the 2011 delivery positions, said Atlas Air. The cargo carrier now expects to receive its first 747-8F from Boeing next month, followed by two in November and two in the first half of 2012. Plans call for the first three aircraft to enter ACMI service with British Airways and the second two with Switzerland’s Panalpina.