Cargolux Takes Delivery of First 747-8

 - October 12, 2011, 1:09 PM
Boeing will deliver the first 747-8F to Cargolux today. (Photo: Cargolux)

Cargolux took delivery of the first Boeing 747-8 Freighter today following the resolution of contractual “issues” that led to the cancellation of handover ceremonies originally planned for September 19 and 21 in Everett, Wash. The Luxembourg-based cargo carrier confirmed today that the decision to postpone the deliveries related to the performance of the aircraft and their GE GEnx-2B engines. It expects to accept the second 747-8F tomorrow.

The Cargolux board met on October 7 hopefully to close negotiations, following execution of a tentative deal on October 1. However, negotiations lasted somewhat longer than expected, leading Cargolux to issue a statement last Friday that it made progress toward an agreement but had not closed on the deal.

In its most recent statement, issued today, Cargolux expressed appreciation for the role director Akbar al Baker, president and CEO Frank Reimen and CFO David Arendt played in negotiating a new settlement. “In its meeting on October 7, the Cargolux board of directors appreciated that the negotiation team…and company management took the appropriate actions to ensure that the 747-8 entry into service issues be resolved successfully,” it said.

Launch customer Cargolux holds an order for 13 Boeing 747-8 Freighters.

Meanwhile, fellow 747-8 customer Atlas Air also cited Boeing’s failure to meet performance guarantees for its subsequent decision to cancel three “early build” 747-8Fs. It now holds firm orders for nine.

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 this 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.