Qantas to replace Boeing 747-400F freighters with capacity 747-8F

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A file image of a Boeing 747-8F in Atlas Air livery. (Atlas Air)

Qantas is replacing two Boeing 747-400F freighters with the larger-capacity 747-8F from July 2019.

The change represents a 20 {per cent|%|percent} increase in freight capacity, Qantas announced on Thursday, {with the|using the|with all the} 747-8F able to carry {an additional|an extra|yet another} seven pallets compared with the 747-400F.

Currently, the two 747-400Fs are operated by Altas Air {on behalf of|for} Qantas. The aircraft, {which have|that have|which may have} Atlas Air livery, operate between Australia, China, New Zealand and the United States, {according to|based on|in accordance with} flight schedules on the Qantas Freight website.

Atlas Air supplies the aircraft and crew, as well as {looks after|handles|protects} the maintenance and insurance, {under a|within} wet-lease arrangement. Qantas sells cargo space, with the flights operated under the airline’ s QF code.

The 747-8Fs will also {have the|possess the|hold the} Atlas Air livery and operate under a similar arrangement.

A look at the Qantas Freight timetable for the Boeing 747-400F operations. (Qantas Freight)

Qantas domestic and freight chief executive Andrew David said the 747-8F would result better operational efficiency and a “ more competitive offering in the Australia-China-US freight markets”.

“ We are seeing strong growth in demand driven by e-commerce, fresh produce, electronics and mining equipment across our international freight network, ” David said {in a|inside a|within a} statement.

“ The newer, more efficient Boeing 747-8F will allow us {to provide a|to get a|to realise a} better service for our customers with additional freight capacity and even greater reliability for time-sensitive shipments. ”

Qantas’ s 2018/19 half year results published in February showed the airline’ s net freight revenue rose 15 {per cent|%|percent} to $525 million {in the|within the|inside the} six months to December 31 2018, from $455 {in the|within the|inside the} prior corresponding period.

A slide presentation accompanying Qantas’ s half-year results said the improvement came amid “ increases {in demand|popular|sought after} for freight forwarding”.

Currently, Cathay Pacific and UPS operate Boeing 747-8F freighter services to Australia. Meanwhile, Korean Air uses the 747-8I passenger variant on its Seoul Incheon-Sydney services at {certain times|peak times} of the year.

A file {image of|picture of} an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400F taking off at Sydney Airport. Note the “ operated on behalf of Qantas” {near the|close to the|nearby the} nose. (Seth Jaworski)

Korean Air Boeing 747-8I HL7642 at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

Korean Air Boeing 747-8I HL7642 at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8 at Wellcamp Airport on Monday 23 November 2015 (Lenn Bayliss)

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8 at Wellcamp Airport on Monday 23 November 2015. (Lenn Bayliss)

Qantas has 14 freighter aircraft in its fleet. The aircraft types {include the|are the|range from the} 747-400Fs, 767-300ERF, 737-300CF, 737-400SF and BAe 146-300QT, {according to the|based on the|in line with the} Qantas Freight website.

It also sells cargo space on passenger services operated by Qantas and Jetstar.

The airline plans to retire all of its Boeing 747-400/400ER passenger aircraft by the end of calendar 2020.

Atlas Air had {taken delivery of|purchased} 10 747-8Fs according to the Boeing website.

Boeing delivered its first 747-8F to launch customer Cargolux in November 2011.

The program had received 107 total orders {at the end of|in late} February 2019, with 84 aircraft delivered and {an outstanding|a superb|an exceptional} backlog of 23 aircraft, according to the Boeing website.

Boeing has also delivered 47 of the passenger variant of the 747-8, known as the 747-8 Intercontinental or 747-8I. {There are|You will find|You can find} no more orders for this aircraft.

The airframer celebrated {50 years|5 decades} of the 747 program in 2018 .