Freight Qantas Freight to add B747-8F to its fleet

Qantas Freight has announced, that it will lease two Boeing 747-8F freighter aircraft to boost its capacity and efficiency.

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Currently, Qantas Freight is using two Boeing 747-400F aircraft that are operated on behalf of Atlas Air. The two 747-8Fs are set to replace those ageing aircraft. The first aircraft is set to join the Australian airline´s fleet in late July 2019.

With the new aircraft, Qantas seeks to offer greater capacity and overall improved efficiency for its freight customers. The new -8F is more efficient and features a longer fuselage. Up to 20 per cent more freight capacity will become available, meaning seven extra pallets can be transported in comparison to the 747-400F.

Qantas Freight will deploy its 747-8Fs between the ten key cargo hubs in Australia, China and the United States. This, however, is still subject to regulatory approval. Key customers throughout the world will benefit from the aircraft. The additional capacity will better meet customer demand for freight around the world.

CEO of Qantas Domestic & Freight, Andrew David, said: “We see strong growth in demand driven by e-commerce, fresh produce, electronics and mining equipment across our international freight network [...]. The newer, more efficient Boeing 747-8F will allow us to provide a better service for our customers with additional freight capacity, and even greater reliability for time-sensitive shipments [...] Our investment in wet-leasing these aircraft gives us a more competitive offering in the Australia-China-US freight markets and more operational efficiency.”

The Boeing 747-8F was designed to replace the older 747-400Fs and to offer more space for cargo. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing launched the 747-8F programme in 2005, and the aircraft is designed to have a maximum take-off weight of 442,000kg. The payload capability of 140,000kg leads to a range of 4,390nm (8,130km). Launch customers of the 747-8F were Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.

Qantas Freight is now the next airline in line to use the 747-8F. The operator is a fully-owned subsidiary of Qantas and was founded back in 2001. The airline has its hubs at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and currently serves 50 international and 80 domestic routes. The fleet consists of 14 freighter aircraft, including Boeing 737Fs, 747Fs and 767Fs.

Qantas Airways is the flag carrier of Australia and was founded in 1920. A year later, the airline commenced operations. Qantas is a member of the Oneworld alliance and mainly operates flights from its hubs at Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The fleet includes 28 Airbus A330s, 12 A380s, 75 Boeing 737s, eight 747s and eight 787-9 Dreamliner.

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