Panalpina will lease two 747-8 freighters from U.S.-based Atlas Air to meet increasing demand for capacity in the healthcare, high-tech, automotive, and oil and gas sectors.
The new generation freighters, which are due to enter service on delivery from Boeing in the first half of 2012, replace two 747-400s currently operating Panalpina’s own-controlled air freight network.
Atlas will operate the 747-8s under a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance contract.
Panalpina said the new planes have a maximum payload of 139 metric tons, 20 tons more than the 747-400Fs.
“The upgrade is expected to deliver improved, next-generation performance in terms of payload, fuel efficiency, total cost per ton-mile and environmental impact,” said Matthias Frey, global head of own-controlled airfreight network at the Swiss forwarder.
Panalpina is the only freight forwarder with its own-controlled network, acting as an in-house carrier handling around 20 percent of its cargo traffic.
Boeing will hand over the first 747-8F to Cargolux on Monday, September 19, at the all-cargo carrier’s Luxembourg airport hub.
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