747 Freighter the standard in the industry, Japan Airlines (JAL) finalized the airline's first order for Boeing 747-400 Freighters. Delivery of the two airplanes is planned for 2004.
The new airplanes will enter an extensive Japan Airlines 747 fleet, which currently numbers 81 747s of various models -- more than any other carrier -- of which 10 are 747-200Fs. They are the 110th and 111th 747s ordered by Japan Airlines.
The World Air Cargo Forecast 2002/2003, issued by Boeing earlier this month, projects that the air cargo industry will grow at an average rate of 6.4 percent, significantly higher than the projected passenger traffic rates. Cargo traffic growth rates in excess of 7 percent are projected for Asian routes -- the largest increases in the world over the next 20 years.
"Japan Airlines and Boeing have a stellar relationship that spans more than four decades," said Larry Dickenson, senior vice president -- Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This history continues today and far into the future as Japan Airlines prepares to add the 747-400 Freighter, the world's premier cargo airplane, to its fleet."
The world's air cargo industry is built around the Boeing 747, which provides about 45 percent of the world's freighter capacity. The cross-section of 747 Freighters is optimized to carry the maximum amount of cargo with the minimum amount of container weight.
Boeing 747 Freighters accommodate industry-standard 10-foot-high pallets through their large side cargo doors, making efficient use of the airplane's volume capability. Only 747 Freighters produced in the Boeing factory feature a nose cargo door, providing operators with the flexibility to carry extremely tall or long high-yield cargo. Over 20 years, this flexibility and efficiency can mean at least $20 million in additional revenue and yield for an operator.
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 kilograms) of cargo more than 4,400 nautical miles (8,230 kilometers) nonstop. Sixteen customers have ordered a total of 104 747-400 Freighters, including 11 747-400ER (Extended-Range) Freighters.
The JAL Group is one of the largest Boeing fleet operators, with a fleet that includes 12 777s, 28 767s, 81 747s and 23 737s.