Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, which already has 19 747 Freighters, have also committed to lease four additional aeroplanes through a third party.
The Freighter has a maximum structural payload capacity of 140 tonnes, and is able to accommodate four additional main-deck pallets and three more lower-hold pallets, which Boeing says offers 16 per cent more cargo volume than the 747-400F.
Tony Tyler, Cathay Pacific chief executive, said: ‘We are very excited about the 747-8 Freighter, which provides the highest payload of any commercial freighter. More importantly, this is a highly fuel-efficient aircraft that consumes 22 per cent less fuel per revenue payload tonne than a 747-200F and 12 per cent less than a 747-400F. Similarly, the 777-300ER is 22 percent more fuel-efficient than a 747-400 per payload tonne. The greater efficiency of both aircraft types is very important in these environmentally sensitive times and when fuel prices are at record highs.’
The new aircraft will be powered by General Electric engines, the GE90-115B and the GEnx-2B67 for the 777-300ER and the 747-8 Freighter respectively.
Cathay Pacific plans to place its 777-300ER fleet on non-stop routes to North America and Europe.