This particular aircraft was a 747-8 Freighter, delivered to Atlas Air who will operate it on behalf of Panalpina, the Swiss-based freight operator. For the first time in the company’s history, an aircraft has been painted with Panalpina’s name and logo.
Following yesterday’s hand-over ceremony, the 747-8F with the tail number N-850GT will take off from Paine Field in Everett nearby Seattle today and fly to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong the aircraft, named the “Spirit of Panalpina”, will immediately enter scheduled service within Panalpina’s unique own controlled air freight network.
From Hong Kong, the 747-8F will fly on to Luxembourg with the first cargo on board. The aircraft is being deployed on the Luxembourg / Huntsville route as well as other routes. Panalpina launched the Luxembourg / Huntsville route, also known as the “Dixie Jet”, as the very first own controlled service in 1990. Within the own controlled air freight network Panalpina can be particularly responsive to individual requirements, also on short notice, because the freight forwarder can arrange its own capacity.
In September 2011, Panalpina and Atlas Air signed a wet-lease agreement for two Boeing 747-8 Freighters. They are replacing two previous generation 747-400 Freighters and the first of that type to be registered in the USA. The delivery of the second 747-8F is scheduled for later in 2012.
Atlas Air has ordered a total of nine 747-8 Freighters.
The 747-8 Freighter offers 16 percent more capacity than the 747-400 Freighter. It is environmentally more progressive, with double digit improvements in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions and a noise footprint reduction of 30 percent.
To date, Boeing has now delivered 20 747-8 aircraft including 16 747-8 Freighters, three 747-8 Intercontinentals to VIP customers and one 747-8 Intercontinental to Lufthansa.