Korean Air Lines and The Boeing Company announced today that the airline has placed a firm order for two 747-400 Freighters. The new cargo airplanes are scheduled for delivery in 2002. The value of today's order at list prices is estimated at $380 million.
The new airplanes will enter an extensive Korean Air cargo fleet, which currently numbers seven 747-200Fs, five 747-400Fs and four MD-11 Freighters. In addition to the Boeing freighters, Korean Air is one of the largest operators of 747-400 passenger airplanes with 26 currently in its fleet.
"Cargo shipments are -- and will continue to be -- a very important segment of our business," said Yi-Taek Shim, president and CEO - Korean Air. "The efficiency, reliability and profitability of the Boeing 747-400 Freighter have helped to establish Korean Air as a top cargo carrier."
Korean Air is the world's fourth-largest cargo carrier and recently announced that it will open a new $102 million cargo station at New York's JFK International Airport that will more than double its cargo handling capacity in the eastern United States.
"The superior capabilities of the 747-400 Freighter are evident in this and other recent orders," said Larry Dickenson, senior vice president - Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. "These airplanes will allow the airline to provide first-class service to its cargo customers during this time of significant air cargo growth."
The popularity of the 747-400 Freighter demonstrates the strength of the air cargo business. The World Air Cargo Forecast 2000/2001, published by Boeing earlier this year, projects that the air cargo industry will grow at an average rate of 6.4 percent, significantly higher than the projected passenger traffic rates. The world's highest growth rates are expected on routes involving Asia.
The 747-400 Freighter is the largest cargo airplane in operation today. It can carry more cargo farther than any other commercial jet freighter, with the lowest operating cost per ton-mile. The 747-400 Freighter can carry 124 tons (113,000 kg) of cargo more than 4,400 nautical miles. Eleven customers have ordered a total of 78 747-400 Freighters, of which 48 have been delivered through Sept. 30, 2000.