Cargolux has taken early delivery of its 14th Boeing 747-8 freighter to meet increased demand during the coming high season.
The aircraft ─ LX-VCN, ‘Spirit of Schengen’ ─ was originally scheduled to be delivered in 2017. However, Boeing and Cargolux agreed to advance the delivery, with a handover ceremony at the US plane maker’s Everett factory in Seattle.
The Luxembourg-based all-cargo carrier said that it expects to cover “increasing demand for cargo space during the upcoming high season” with the new freighter.
LX-VCN will operate its first commercial flight from Seattle to Luxembourg with a full load of cargo. All Cargolux B747 freighters have traditionally operated their delivery flight as a revenue-earning flight. The aircraft arrives in Luxembourg today, September 30.
Richard Forson, Cargolux president and chief executive, said: “Cargolux operates in a highly competitive market. In such an environment, an aircraft that combines economic efficiency with high earning potential gives a clear advantage.
“I see the B747-8F as an industry stalwart; this aircraft has already proven its worth for Cargolux in five years of reliable and efficient operation and it will continue to drive growth and revenues for Cargolux in the years to come.”
The Luxembourg carrier became the launch customer for the B747-8F with an initial order for 10 units in 2005 and was the world’s first operator of this aircraft type in October 2011. Boeing has since acknowledged that, without Cargolux, there would be no B747-8 today.
Monty Oliver, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “The 747-8 freighter has proved to be a tremendous addition to Cargolux’s fleet, providing increased capacity, more range and outstanding economics. We congratulate Cargolux on this latest delivery and are honored that the 747 remains the mainstay of its all-Boeing fleet.”
LX-VCN brings the Cargolux fleet to 26 B747 freighters, a mix of B747-8 and B747-400 aircraft, the largest complement that the company has ever operated.
The B747-8 freighter offers 16% more revenue cargo volume than the B747-400 freighter. The maximum range with full fuel is 8,130 km, with nearly equivalent trip costs and 16% lower ton-mile costs than the 747-400 freighter.