Boeing delivers first 747-400F to Air China cargo

SEATTLE (Boeing) - The Boeing Company today delivered Air China Cargo's first Boeing 747-400 Freighter, the first of two new 747-400Fs for the Beijing-based carrier.

The new airplane will be used on Air China Cargo's routes between China and North America and Europe. Air China Cargo's new Boeing 747-400 Freighter is powered by Pratt & Whitney 4056 engines.

"The Boeing 747-400 Freighter is a key to Air China Cargo meeting the needs of China's rapidly growing economy and booming air cargo market," said Kong Dong, chairman of Air China Cargo. "We anticipate the 747-400 Freighter will allow us to provide superior cargo service to our customers, while reducing our operating costs and increasing efficiency and profitability."

Domestic air cargo in China is expected to grow 10.6 percent annually over the next 20 years, the highest rate in the world.

"The delivery of the new Boeing 747-400 Freighter is a new facet in our long, mutually beneficial relationship with the Air China family," said Larry Dickenson, vice president-Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Air China Cargo recognizes, as does the world, the reliability, efficiency and value of the 747-400 Freighter in today's cargo market. This investment will make a valuable contribution to the success and future growth of Air China Cargo."

The global air cargo industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the aviation market. The Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast 2004/2005 projects that the air cargo industry will grow at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent, significantly higher than projected passenger traffic rates. Cargo traffic growth rates in excess of seven percent are projected for Asian routes -- the largest increases in the world over the next 20 years.

The 747-400 Freighter is the largest commercial cargo transport in service, with the lowest ton-mile cost in the industry. The 747-400 Freighter family has no peer among today's cargo airplanes with more than 110 in service worldwide, operated by the world's leading air cargo carriers. The 747-400 Freighter can carry 124 tons (113,000 kg) of cargo up to 4,450 nautical miles (8,240 km).

In all its versions, the worldwide fleet of 747 Freighters -- nearly 300 in all -- provides more than half the world's dedicated freighter capacity. The 747 Freighter is a key element in the development of air cargo into today's $45 billion industry.

The 747 Freighter cross-section is optimized to carry the maximum amount of cargo while minimizing container weight and using industry-standard 10-foot-high (3.1 m) pallets. The airplane's unique combination of a large side-cargo door and nose-cargo door provides maximum flexibility and efficiency which can mean $1 million or more per year on average in additional revenue and yield for the operator.

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