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Cargolux celebrates 45 years of flying with a “You name it, we fly it” logo jet on newly-delivered Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCM

Cargolux 747-800F LX-VCM (15-You name it)(Ldg) LUX (Cargolux)(LRW)

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) on September 28 took delivery of brand new Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCM (msn 61169). The new delivery was flown to Luxembourg (above) and is in service between Luxembourg and Los Angeles via Prestwick.

The new Jumbo freighter is painted in a whimsical “You name it, we fly it” special livery created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt. The logo jet is helping Cargolux celebrate 45 years of flying. The logo jet displays some of the odd things the airline has flown in its history.

The airline issued this statement and photos yesterday:

Cargolux 2015 logo

Cargolux Airlines, Europe’s largest all-cargo airline, celebrates its 45th anniversary with a special aircraft livery, created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt, that was applied to its 13th 747-8 freighter delivered. The aircraft, LX-VCM, named ‘City of Redange-sur-Attert’, was handed over at Boeing’s Seattle plant on September 28 and arrived in Luxembourg on September 29 with a full load of cargo.

Cargolux LX-VCM 1 (Cargolux)(LR)

As an undisputed leader in air cargo, Cargolux offers an extensive product range, covering everything from every-day cargo to shipments that require detailed attention, special treatment and expert handling.

Cargolux LX-VCM 2 (Cargolux)(LR)

Backed by 45 years of experience, the highly specialized Cargolux teams can cater to the most demanding requirements customers may have.

Cargolux LX-VCM 3 (Cargolux)(LR)

This ability is aptly portrayed in the anniversary livery on LX‑VCM that depicts in a humorous way the many facets of air freight shipments, routinely handled by Cargolux every day.

Cargolux LX-VCM 4 (Cargolux)(LR)

The decal on Cargolux’s new freighter is the biggest decal that Boeing ever applied to an aircraft, it consists of 460 individual parts.

Cargolux LX-VCM 5 (Cargolux)(LR)

Phillippe Cruyt was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1962. He has already illustrated a range of successful educational books on air freight and environmental topics, published by Cargolux in the early 2000s, as well as advertising and safety campaigns, calendars and posters for the airline.

Cargolux LX-VCM 6 (Cargolux)(LR)

In addition, he has illustrated a range of books as well as published his cartoons at various exhibitions throughout Europe.

Cargolux LX-VCM 7 (Cargolux)(LR)

Currently, Mr. Cruyt divides his professional time and energy between cartoon illustrations for children’s and educational books or designing communication messages with a touch of humor. When he is not drawing, Mr. Cruyt plays clarinet and tenor sax in his jazz group, The Creole Shakers Trio.

Cargolux LX-VCM 8 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 9 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 10 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 11 (Cargolux)(LR)


Over the last 45 years, Cargolux has grown to become Europe’s largest all-cargo airline with 828,658 ton of cargo flown in 2014 and a fleet of 25 747 freighters.

On March 4, 1970, Luxair, Loftleiðir, Salén and some private interests founded Cargolux and started operations from the newly established home base at Luxembourg airport with a handful of Canadair CL-44 freighters. The young carrier’s first flight on 10 March 1970 was routed Luxembourg – Stockholm – New York and carried a cargo of strawberries and iceberg lettuce.

The airline was created to operate all-cargo ad hoc and sub-charter flights and the first years of operation proved that there was a need for the type of service that Cargolux was offering to its customers.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/AirlinersGallery.com. Douglas DC-8-63 (CF) LX-ACV (msn 45989) is seen at Paris (CDG).

The CL‑44s soon gave way to bigger DC-8 freighters (above) and, in later years, Cargolux introduced the wide-body Boeing 747 freighter into its fleet, amidst much skepticism in Luxembourg and within the industry. However, the success of the operation eventually proved critics wrong. In later years, Cargolux became the first operator and launch customer of the 747-400F and the 747-8F. With more than 85 offices in over 50 countries, Cargolux today flies to over 70 destinations worldwide and employs over 1,700 people.

Selected Milestones

1970: Cargolux Airlines International is founded by Luxair, Loftleiðir Icelandic, the Salén Shipping Group and private Luxembourg interests.

1974: The maintenance division of Loftleiðir Icelandic is integrated into Cargolux, whose staff increased from 80 to 180 over night.

1978: The final CL-44 is phased out. Cargolux now operates an all-jet fleet.

1979: Boeing delivers Cargolux’s first Boeing 747-200F, the second one arrives a year later.

1983: Cargolux’s CHAMP (Cargo Handling And Management Planning) computer system is introduced.

1984: The last DC-8 freighter is sold, while a third 747-200F is added to the fleet in 1986.

1988: Cargolux ranks among the 15 largest cargo carriers in the world, measured in freight tonne kilometers flown.

1990: Cargolux celebrates its 20th anniversary with an order for three new Boeing 747-400 freighters.

1993: With the delivery of the first two Boeing 747-400 freighters, Cargolux becomes the first airline in the world to operate this state-of-the-art aircraft.

1995: Cargolux celebrates its 25th anniversary. The fleet of modern 747-400 freighters is steadily expanded over the coming years; the 16th and last unit is handed over in 2008.

2005: Cargolux and Boeing announce the development of a new, advanced version of the 747 freighter, later to become the 747-8 series. Cargolux is a launch customer for this new 747 type with an initial order for 10 aircraft. The company later orders five more 747-8Fs.

2009: The Cargolux Maintenance Division moves into its new maintenance hangar that offers modern facilities and space for two 747/A380-sized aircraft. Cargolux enters into a strategic partnership in Italy to create Cargolux Italia for intercontinental all-cargo services from Milan’s Malpensa airport.

2011: Qatar Airways takes a 35% equity interest in Cargolux, but decided in November 2012 to sell its stake. The State of Luxembourg acquires these shares on an interim basis. Some six years after signing the initial order, Cargolux is taking delivery of its first two Boeing 747‑8 freighters on 19 and 21 September.

2014: Cargolux achieves a number of crucial goals, including the conclusion of a commercial cooperation agreement with HNCA, who acquire 35% of the Cargolux shares and the successful introduction of services to and from Cargolux’s new hub in China, Zhengzhou.

2015: Cargolux celebrates its 45th anniversary. The airline operates the largest fleet in its history and routinely records one of the highest daily aircraft utilization rates in the industry. Cargolux now operates seven weekly frequencies between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou and introduces its first dedicated transpacific service between Zhengzhou and Chicago.

The Cargolux Spirit

With the acceptance of 747-8F LX-VCM, Cargolux operates one of the youngest and most efficient freighter fleets in the industry.

“I’m proud to see this aircraft with a very special paint scheme join out fleet,” says Dirk Reich, Cargolux President & CEO. “The 747-8 freighter perfectly suits our worldwide network and its nose-loading and cargo-carrying abilities help us to maintain our leading position in the airfreight industry. Philippe Cruyt’s exceptional livery is a fitting addition to our 13th 747-8F and underlines not only the expertise and experience that Cargolux has gained in handling a wide variety of normal and special freight, but also celebrates the long and colorful history of our company. This aircraft is an ambassador for the passion and the spirit of Cargolux.”

All photos by Cargolux (except below).

Cargolux aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. LX-VCM arrives at Seattle/Tacoma to take a full load of cargo to Luxembourg.

Cargolux 747-800F LX-VCM (15-You name it)(Apr) SEA (JGW)(LRW)

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The FAA issues an AD for possible Boeing 747-8 and 747-8F “divergent flutter during a high g-load maneuver in combination with certain system failures”

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) has issued this airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing 747-8 and 747-8F series aircraft. The FAA estimates there are eight aircraft impacted on the U.S. registry.

According to Boeing, all of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals.

Here is the statement:

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We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an analysis, which indicated that in a limited flight envelope with specific conditions, divergent flutter could occur during a high g-load maneuver in combination with certain system failures. This AD requires replacing the lateral control electronic (LCE) modules, replacing the inboard elevator power control packages (PCPs), installing new external compensators for the PCPs, and revising the maintenance or inspection program. We are issuing this AD to prevent certain system failures from resulting in divergent flutter, and subsequent loss of continued safe flight and landing.

Read the full AD: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com.

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Atlas Air Worldwide to acquire another Boeing 747-800F freighter, provides a fleet update

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo) (New York) has agreed to acquire a new 747-8 freighter from Boeing with delivery scheduled for November 2015. Prior to its expected placement in longer-term ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance) service, the company intends to deploy the aircraft in profitable charter operations, taking advantage of the aircraft’s superior fuel efficiency, range, capacity and loading capabilities.

Atlas Air Worldwide logo

To meet additional charter demand, Atlas Air Worldwide is also returning an owned and unencumbered 747-400 converted freighter to active service. The aircraft is resuming operations this month. At the same time, the company has entered into a short-term operating lease expected to begin in late June for a second 747-400 converted freighter. This lease is intended to replace a similar aircraft, with a lease that expires this month, on terms that are more favorable to the company.

Atlas Air logo

In addition, the company has expanded its Titan Dry Leasing portfolio by acquiring two Boeing 767 aircraft. These will be leased to DHL Express following their conversion from passenger to freighter configuration in the fourth quarter of this year. They complement a Boeing 757 Freighter recently dry leased to DHL by Titan following the conclusion of a previous customer lease.

Fleet Plan Update

By year-end 2015, Atlas Air Worldwide’s cargo operations are expected to include ten 747-800Fs and 23 747-400 freighters. It also expects to have two 747-400s and three 767-300s providing passenger service to the U.S. military and other charter customers.

In addition, the company expects to operate at least 18 customer-owned aircraft in its CMI (crew, maintenance and insurance) operations. These operations include four 747 Large Cargo Freighters for Boeing, two VIP-configured 747-400 passenger aircraft for SonAir, eleven 767 freighters for DHL Express, and one VIP-configured 767 passenger aircraft for MLW Air.

In Dry Leasing, the company anticipates its portfolio to include at least 11 aircraft, including six 777 freighters, two 767 freighters, one 757 freighter, one 737 freighter, and one 737 passenger aircraft.

In other news, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings announced the placement of an additional Boeing 747-400 freighter into ACMI service.Polar Air Cargo logo

The aircraft will be operated by Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. to expand its express network for the benefit of DHL Express. Operations are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2015.

DHL logo (LRW)


When the new service begins, Polar’s express network will consist of six 747-8Fs and seven 747-400Fs in ACMI on behalf of DHL and Polar’s other customers. Atlas also will continue to operate a fleet of eleven Boeing 767 Freighters in CMI service for DHL, including nine in North America and two in the Asia-Pacific region.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-87UF N852GT (msn 37571) of Atlas Air taxies at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC).

Atlas Air aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Polar Air Cargo aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Cargolux takes delivery of its 30th direct delivery Boeing 747, adds a special decal in honor of Joe Sutter

Cargolux 747-8F Delivery Honors Joe Sutter

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and Cargolux Airlines (Luxembourg) are celebrating the 30th direct delivery of a 747 Freighter to the Luxembourg-based cargo carrier. To mark the occasion, Cargolux’s latest 747-8 Freighter carries a special decal of the “Father of the Boeing 747,” Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who led the team that designed the airplane.

Cargolux 747-8F Delivery Honors Joe Sutter

Photos Above: Boeing. The pictured Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCL (msn 35823) with the special Joe Sutter emblem on the nose was officially handed over to the carrier on March 5.

Video Below: Interview with Joe Sutter.

This latest delivery was the 12th 747-8 Freighter to join Cargolux’s fleet, with the Luxembourg carrier becoming the world’s first operator of the airplane type in October 2011. Prior to the introduction of the 747-8 Freighter, Cargolux took delivery of the first of two 747-200 Freighters in 1979 and in 1993 also became the world’s first operator of the 747-400 Freighter, taking a total of 16 747-400 Freighters.

In January 2015, Cargolux began operations to Manaus Airport in Brazil with a 747-8 Freighter carrying a full load of machinery spare parts and telecommunications equipment. In the process, Manaus Airport became the 100th commercial airport that Cargolux serves with the 747-8 Freighter, underlining the airplane’s incredible versatility in the world cargo market.

Cargolux currently has two unfilled orders for 747-8 Freighters, with the all-Boeing carrier operating a fleet composed entirely of 747-400 Freighters and 747-8 Freighters.

Cargolux aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings reports 2Q adjusted net income of $15.9 million

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo) (New York) reported adjusted net income of $15.9 million for the second quarter.

The company issued this statement:

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, announced adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders of $15.9 million, or $0.63 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2014, compared with $20.4 million, or $0.79 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2013.

On a reported basis, net income attributable to common stockholders in the second quarter of 2014 totaled $29.6 million, or $1.17 per diluted share, compared with $20.1 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

“We are off to a good start in 2014. Airfreight demand is improving, and we are encouraged about our full-year outlook,” said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As we continue to gather additional insight into second-half yields, demand and military requirements, we are maintaining our full-year earnings framework.”

Mr. Flynn added: “Atlas is an entrepreneurial company. Our second-quarter results illustrate the positive contributions being generated by the investments we’ve made and the initiatives we’ve undertaken. In the face of an uncertain airfreight market and an anticipated decline in military cargo demand, we have diversified our business mix and are driving business resilience.

“Results within our ACMI segment are benefiting from modern 747-8 freighters as well as an increase in flying for our CMI customers. In Dry Leasing, the investments we’ve made since early 2013 in attractive 777 freighters on long-term leases with strong customers are driving a significant increase in contribution from highly predictable revenue and earnings streams.

“In addition, the expansion of our 767 platform and our growth into military and commercial passenger charter operations are providing added strength, complementing the improvement in airfreight demand.

“Led by the strength of our brand, our global market leadership in outsourced aircraft assets and services, and our ability to work closely with our customers as they enhance their route networks and grow their businesses, we are well-positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and improvement – and to continue our focus on longer-term business growth.”

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter of 2014 exclude an income tax benefit of $24.0 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, due to beneficial tax planning related to the tax treatment of extraterritorial income. This was partly offset by a noncash loss of $9.4 million after tax, or $0.37 per diluted share, resulting from the trade-in of used spare engines for new engines under the company’s engine-acquisition program, as well as additional charges totaling $1.0 million after tax, or $0.04 per diluted share, which were primarily related to the company’s U.K. affiliate, Global Supply Systems Limited.

Adjusted earnings in the second quarter of 2013 exclude an after-tax loss of $0.6 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, on the early extinguishment of debt, partly offset by an after-tax gain of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, on the disposal of aircraft.

Second-Quarter Results

Profitability in our ACMI business during the second quarter reflected an increase in 747-8F revenue and an increase in CMI flying, offset by higher maintenance expense for aircraft operating in this segment.

ACMI revenues benefited from an increase in our average rate per block hour driven by our 747-8Fs, but were impacted by a decline in block-hour volumes related to the return of three 8Fs from British Airways in April and early May. This decline was partially offset by the placement of two of the 8Fs with DHL Express in May, the start-up of ACMI 8F flying for BST Logistics in February 2014 and Etihad in May 2013, as well as the start-up of ACMI 747-400 flying for Astral Aviation in September 2013. Block-hour volumes during the second quarter also reflected an increase in CMI Dreamlifter flying for Boeing and the initiation of CMI 767-200 passenger aircraft service for MLW Air during the third quarter of 2013.

In Dry Leasing, revenue and profitability grew following the addition of three 777F aircraft in January 2014 and two in July 2013, which raised our 777F fleet count to six. Each of these aircraft are leased to customers on a long-term basis.

In AMC Charter, results benefited from an increase in the volume of passenger flying on higher-yielding 747-400 aircraft, partially offset by a decrease in demand for cargo flying. Segment results in Commercial Charter reflected a decrease in market rates and increases in maintenance and crewmember travel expense, partially offset by an increase in block-hour volumes.

Reported earnings for the period reflected an effective income tax rate benefit of 461.0%, driven by tax-planning efforts regarding a federal income tax benefit related to the treatment of extraterritorial income from the offshore leasing of certain of our aircraft.

Half-Year Results

For the six months ended June 30, 2014, adjusted net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $27.3 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared with $26.3 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013.

On a reported basis, first-half 2014 net income attributable to common stockholders totaled $37.5 million, or $1.49 per diluted share, compared with $40.1 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in the first half of 2013.

Cash and Short-Term Investments

At June 30, 2014, our cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and restricted cash totaled $299.2 million, compared with $339.2 million at December 31, 2013.

The change in position reflected cash provided by operating and financing activities offset by cash used for investing activities.

Net cash used for investing activities during the first half of 2014 primarily related to the purchase of three 777F aircraft for our Dry Leasing business.

Net cash provided by financing activities primarily reflected proceeds from the issuance of debt in connection with the acquisitions of these aircraft. Those proceeds were partially offset by payments on debt obligations and debt issuance costs.


We are encouraged by our performance in the first half of 2014 and the positive direction of market trends so far this year.

Airfreight volumes continue to improve, and recent forecasts suggest that airfreight demand may grow by several percentage points in 2014 – the first real growth after three essentially flat years. Airfreight yields continue to lag behind, however, and there is still limited visibility into peak-season yields, demand and second-half military requirements. As a result, we are maintaining our earnings outlook for the full year.

On a sequential basis, per-share earnings in the third quarter of this year should improve over our adjusted second-quarter results by an increment similar to the increase between our first- and second-quarter adjusted earnings.

For the full year, we expect total block hours to be comparable to 2013, with more than 70% in ACMI, approximately 10% in AMC Charter, and the balance in Commercial Charter. Our Dry Leasing segment should show dramatic growth compared with 2013. While our share of military flying, mainly in passenger service, has increased due to a reduction in the number of carriers serving the market and our ability to capitalize on additional flying opportunities, we continue to expect an overall decline in military demand, primarily in cargo, compared with 2013.

We also expect aircraft maintenance expense to total approximately $180 million in 2014, with depreciation of approximately $120 to $125 million. Core capital expenditures this year are expected to total approximately $45 to $50 million, mainly for spare parts for our expanded fleet.

We remain confident in the resilience of our business model, as well as our ability to adapt to the market and to leverage the scale and efficiencies in our operations. The business initiatives we have undertaken and the investments we have made have enabled the company to deliver meaningful earnings in any environment.

Should 2014 be the inflection point when growth returns to commercial airfreight and yields improve, our business initiatives and the investments we have made have positioned Atlas to be one of the prime beneficiaries.

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

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-87UF N852GT (msn 37571) of Atlas Air taxies at Anchorage, AK.

Atlas Air: AG Slide Show

Polar Air Cargo: AG Slide Show

AirBridgeCargo add its fifth Boeing 747-8 freighter, reports its growth in 2013

AirBridgeCargo-ABC (Moscow), part of Volga-Dnepr Group and Russia’s largest cargo airline, recently celebrated the delivery of the airline’s fifth 747-8 Freighter (VQ-BRJ, msn 37670) on December 27, 2013.

With delivery of the fifth 747-8 Freighter, AirBridgeCargo continues to follow its long-term fleet modernization strategy to further improve the quality of its product. The new aircraft will be used on ABC’s existing route network linking Europe, Asia and the United States via the airline’s hub in Moscow.

At present AirBridgeCargo’s fleet consists of 12 Boeing 747s, including five Boeing 747-400ERFs (Extended Range Freighters), three Boeing 747-400 Freighters and five Boeing 747-8 Freighters.

The carrier achieved a 5% growth in cargo tonnage in 2013, with its highest ever volume of 340,000 tons across its network linking Europe, Russia, Asia and North America.

The airline reported volume growth on all of its major routes and this was matched by a 5% improvement in revenue. AirBridgeCargo’s Freight Ton-Kilometers (FTK) rose 15% in 2013, while its average load factor of 72% show a marginal 1.7% gain over the previous year.

Despite challenging market conditions in 2013, ABC continued with its long-term fleet modernisation strategy and took delivery of two more new generation freighters Boeing 747-8F. With the delivery of its fifth Boeing 747-8F in December 2013, AirBridgeCargo  completed its fleet renewal plan which began two years ago. This investment has reduced the average age of its aircraft fleet from nine years at the end of 2011 to three years at the end of 2013. At present, ABC’s fleet is one of the youngest in the air cargo industry.

AirBridgeCargo took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F (VQ-BLQ) (see above) in January 2012, with the second and third aircraft joining its fleet in March and December 2012. The fourth new generation freighter entered service with ABC in September last year. As part of the modernization program, ABC removed four older aircraft from its fleet; two Boeing 747-200F, one Boeing 747-300F and a Boeing 747-400ERF. A further 747-400ERF will leave its fleet in 2014.

In 2013, AirBridgeCargo joined the Olympic movement with the delivery of 126 tons of broadcasting equipment as well as 214 tons of sports and lighting equipment for the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in the Russia City of Sochi in February. The flights were performed using Boeing 747 and Boeing 737 cargo aircraft.

Copyright Photo: Bernhard Ross/AirlinersGallery.com. The first, Boeing 747-8HVF VQ-BLQ (msn 37581) taxies at Frankfurt.

AirBridgeCargo Airlines: AG Slide Show

Silk Way Airlines orders two Boeing 747-8 Freighters

Silk Way Airlines (Baku, Azerbaijan) and Boeing today announced an order for two Boeing 747-8 Freighters valued at $704 million at current list prices.

Silk Way Airlines currently operates Boeing 747-400 Freighters (see above) and 767-300 Freighters. It is considered as one of the leading cargo airlines in Central Asia providing full-fledged services to Europe and the United Kingdom and the Middle East, as well as the Far East including Korea, China and Hong Kong. In addition, it also serves international destinations through a network of alliances.

Copyright Photo: OSDU/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F 4K-800 (msn 29729) prepares to land at Moscow (Shereyetyevo).

Silk Way Airlines: AG Slide Show