Boeing (NYSE: BA) today delivered the first of three new Boeing 747-400ER (extended range) Freighters to Korean Air Lines. The other two new freighters are scheduled for delivery in late 2003 and early 2004.
Korean Air has been, for the past decade, one of the top three combination freight carriers in the world, with the largest freighter fleet of any transpacific airline, providing regular freighter service to 31 cities around the world.
"This new airplane is a shining example of the great relationship we share with Korean Air Lines," said Larry Dickenson, senior vice president of Sales ? Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The 747-400ER Freighter will help Korean Air enhance its current position as one of the world's premier cargo carriers."
In addition, Boeing recently presented an award to Korean Air in recognition of its excellent and consistent record of 747 fleet schedule reliability over the past seven years.
The 747-400ER Freighter has a maximum takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,770 kilograms) at a range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 kilometers). This is an improvement of 530 nautical miles (982 kilometers) of additional range or an additional 22,000 pounds (9,980 kilograms) of payload on long-range flights at maximum takeoff weight over Korean Air's current fleet of 10 747-400 Freighters.
The additional range and payload allows airlines to serve long-range markets directly with fewer technical stops, saving significant time and money. To support the additional weight, the new model has strengthened parts in its wings, fuselage and landing gear.
The 747 Freighter family is a major factor in the profitability of the world's top cargo carriers. The Boeing 747 Freighter fleet of 255 airplanes provides nearly half of the world's freighter capacity. The 747 family was designed and optimized with cargo as a primary consideration, and the single main deck provides for the best in operational efficiency.
Korean Air Cargo is a key member of SkyTeam Cargo in partnership with the cargo operations of AeroMexico, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and it is the group's largest freight carrier. It also is the Asian partner of a new US-focused air-cargo marketing venture with Delta and Air France. Air France was the first carrier to receive a 747-400ER Freighter.
Earlier this year, Korean Air was named Cargo Airline of the Year for 2003 by Air Transport World at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
This and the two future deliveries have been previously attributed in Boeing order books to an unidentified customer.