confirmed yesterday that Guggenheim Aviation Partners (GPR), the US-based aviation investment firm acting on behalf of the Guggenheim Aviation Investment Fund LP (GAIF), has placed an order for six 747-400ER Freighters valued at approximately US$1.37 billion at list prices.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2006 and continue through the first half of 2008.
The global air cargo industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the aviation market. Boeing projects in its World Air Cargo Forecast 2004/2005 that the air cargo industry will grow at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent, significantly higher than passenger traffic. Cargo traffic growth rates in excess of seven percent are projected for Asian routes, the largest increases in the world over the next 20 years.
In October 2004, Guggenheim purchased five 747-400 Special Freighters which will become available to operators starting in 2007, with four aircraft already placed in Special Freighter configuration with Martinair. Guggenheim currently owns a total of 11 Boeing airplanes, eight of which are leased to operators, with three in freighter conversion programs.
The 747-400ERF has a maximum takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,775 kg), a range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 km) and a maximum payload of 248,600 pounds (112,760 kg).