Boeing [NYSE: BA] today delivered Japan Airlines International's (JAL) first
747-400 Freighter, the first of two new 747-400Fs for the Tokyo-based carrier.
The new airplane will enter an extensive Japan Airlines 747 fleet, which currently numbers 77 Boeing 747s - more than any other carrier. Ten of those are 747-200Fs. The second 747-400 Freighter is also scheduled for delivery later this month.
"The Boeing 747-400 Freighter is the key to Japan Airlines meeting the needs of Japan 's rapidly growing economy and booming air cargo market," said Toru Okushima, deputy general manager, Engineering & Maintenance Division, vice president, Maintenance Business Division, Narita , Japan Airlines. "With the greatest capacity and lowest ton-per-mile cost of any commercial air freighter, the 747-400 Freighter will allow us to provide superior cargo service to our customers, while minimizing our operating costs."
"Japan Airlines and Boeing have an excellent relationship that spans more than four decades," said Larry Dickenson, senior vice president - Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This history continues today and will do so far into the future as Japan Airlines adds the 747-400 Freighter, the world's premier cargo airplane, to its fleet."
The Boeing World Air Cargo Forecast 2004/2005 projects that the air cargo industry will grow at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent, significantly higher than the projected passenger traffic rates. Cargo traffic growth rates in excess of seven percent are projected for Asian routes - the largest increases in the world over the next 20 years.
The Boeing 747 provides more than half of the world's freighter capacity. The Boeing 747-400 Freighter continues selling well with 12 ordered thus far this year.
The 747-400 Freighter can carry 120 tons of cargo, 25 tons more than the 747-200 Freighters currently in Japan Airlines' fleet. In addition to the higher payload capability, the 747-400F burns 15 percent less fuel than its predecessor allowing it to reach more destinations. The 747-400 Freighter will join Japan Airlines' existing 747-400 passenger airplane fleet, giving the airline the benefits of a 747-400 airplane family using the same flight crews and the same maintenance and operating procedures.
Eighteen Boeing customers have ordered 126 747-400 and -400ER Freighters. Including today's delivery, 101 of those have been delivered. This 747-400F is the 107 th 747 delivered to JAL.
JAL is one of the largest Boeing operators, with a fleet that includes 26 777s, 33 767s, 77 747s and 23 737s.