$460 million confirmation

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Boeing and Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) this week confirmed they have finalised an agreement for the cargo carrier's purchase of two additional Boeing 747-400 Freighters.

The order, valued at approximately $460 million at list prices, is currently included on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer.

NCA will receive its new freighters beginning in 2008 and 2009 to replace older 747-200 Freighters.

Previously, NCA ordered eight 747-400 Freighters, two of which have been delivered. Last year, the carrier was a launch customer for the Boeing 747-8 Freighter, with an order for eight airplanes. The 747-8 is a new model, scheduled to enter service in 2009.

"These new 747-400Fs will significantly reduce our airplane maintenance costs," said Takuro Uchiyama, president and CEO - Nippon Cargo Airlines. "This order is a key element in our Phoenix Project in which we will completely transition to 747-400 and 747-8 Freighters.”

NCA's Phoenix Project is a multi-stage, 10-year strategic plan announced by Uchiyama earlier this month at the company's headquarters.

The 747-400F can carry up to 124 tons (113 tonnes) of cargo, 25 tons (22 tonnes) more cargo than the 747-200 Freighters currently in NCA's fleet.

NCA anticipates that the 747-400Fs and 747-8Fs will increase fuel efficiency by 18 percent and 36 percent, respectively, over the 747-200Fs that the carrier currently operates.