AirBridgeCargo Airlines-ABC (Volga-Dnepr Group) (Moscow) on April 2 launched an around-the-world route with twice-weekly cargo service on the Moscow (Sheremetyevo) – Shanghai (Pudong) – Anchorage – Los Angeles – Chicago (O’Hare) – Amsterdam route per Airline Route.
In other news, AirBridgeCargo reported a 20% increase in tonnage for the first quarter of 2015, continuing the trend set by previous years.
According to the airline, “In the January 1-March 31 period this year, ABC carried 103,816 tons across its international route network connecting customers in Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific through its hub in Moscow.
At present the airline operates scheduled flights to 26 destinations in 14 countries using its enlarged fleet of 14 Boeing 747 family aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-867F VQ-BVR (msn 60687) passes through Amsterdam on the special long-range route.
Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) and Boeing (Chicago) announced the airline has ordered an additional 747-8 Freighter and three 777-300 ER (Extended Range) airplanes. The order, valued at about $1 billion at current list prices, will bolster Cathay Pacific’s 747-8 Freighter fleet and 777-300ER fleet to 14 and 53, respectively.
Hong Kong’s flag carrier is in the midst of renewing its freighter fleet with newer, more efficient airplanes, while also looking to strengthen its position as a market leader in the air cargo business.
The 747-8 Freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter airplane while providing enhanced environmental performance. At 250 feet, 2 inches (76.3 m) long — 18 feet, 4 inches (5.6 m) longer than the 747-400 Freighter — the 747-8 Freighter gives customers 16 percent more revenue cargo volume compared to its predecessor with nearly equivalent trip costs and lower ton-mile costs.
The Boeing 777 is the world’s most successful twin-engine, long-haul airplane. The 777-300ER is equipped with the world’s most powerful GE90-115B commercial jet engine, and can seat up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration with a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km).
Hong Kong’s flag carrier operates 55 777s, including 38 777-300 ERs and an all-Boeing freighter fleet that includes 13 747-8 Freighters. With this order, Cathay Pacific will have 21 777-9X airplanes, 15 777-300 ERs and one 747-8 Freighter on order with Boeing.
Top Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com. Brand new Boeing 747-867F B-LJI (msn 39247) lifts off the runway at Paine Field near Everett, Washington.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. The Stretch Triple Seven is becoming the mainstay of the Cathay Pacific long-range passenger aircraft fleet as the Boeing 747-400 replacement. Sleek Boeing 777-367 B-KPN (msn 36165) steadily climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Boeing (Chicago) yesterday (December 18) delivered the first 747-8 (747-867F B-LJK, msn 43394) to Cathay Pacific Airways (Hong Kong) with performance-improved GEnx-2B engines as part of the airplane’s Performance Improvement Package (PIP.) B-LJK was the first 747 to deliver with the PIP engines.
The engine is the first of the package’s three improvements to enter service. The two other components, Flight Management Computer (FMC) software upgrades and reactivation of the horizontal tank fuel system on the 747-8 Intercontinental, are expected to enter service later this month and in early 2014, respectively.
The PIP engine improves the airplane’s efficiency by 1.8 percent. “With this improvement, 747-8 customers will use roughly 30 less semi-sized trucks of fuel per airplane per year,” said Bruce Dickinson, 747-8 chief project engineer and vice president.
All three PIP components can be retrofitted on the 747-8. The tail fuel reactivation is applicable only for the 747-8 Intercontinental and the FMC upgrades can also be made to 747-400s.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Sister ship Boeing 747-867F B-LJJ (msn 39246) climbs away from the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.