Malaysia Airlines System's (MAS) cargo operation (MASkargo) took delivery Monday of its first Boeing [NYSE: BA] 747-400 Freighter. The airplane departed Everett's Paine Field late last night and is the first of two 747-400Fs that MASkargo will receive this year.
"The Boeing 747-400 Freighter is the mainstay of the world's air cargo fleet and will be a real boost to MASkargo's capabilities," said Paul Dubeck, director of Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Asia is projected to experience air cargo traffic that exceeds the world average over the next 20 years, and Malaysia Airlines will be well-positioned to take advantage of that growth."
The global air cargo industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the aviation market. 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 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.
The 747-400 Freighter is the largest commercial cargo transport in service, with the lowest ton-mile cost in the industry. The 747-400 Freighter family has no peer among today's cargo airplanes with more than 110 in service worldwide, operated by the world's leading air cargo carriers. The 747-400 Freighter can carry 124 tons (113,000 kg) of cargo up to 4,450 nautical miles (8,240 km).
In all its versions, the worldwide fleet of 747 Freighters -- nearly 300 in all -- provides more than half the world's dedicated freighter capacity. The 747 Freighter is a key element in the development of air cargo into today's $50 billion industry.