Qantas Freight will lease two B747-8F aircraft from Atlas Air to be operated on Qantas’ behalf through an ACMI agreement, as e-commerce, fresh produce, electronics and mining equipment drive demand. The next-generation freighters – flying in Atlas Air livery – will replace the current two B747-400F that are currently operated for Qantas by Atlas.
Expected to commence services from late July 2019, the B747-8F freighters will carry cargo on Qantas Freight’s existing network between 10 key cargo hubs in Australia, China and the US, subject to regulatory approval.
CEO of Qantas Domestic & Freight, Andrew David, said the new aircraft would allow Qantas’ freight business to better meet customer demand for freight capacity around the world.
“We are seeing strong growth in demand driven by e-commerce, fresh produce, electronics and mining equipment across our international freight network,” says David. “The newer, more efficient Boeing 747-8F will allow us to provide a better service for our customers with additional freight capacity and even greater reliability for time-sensitive shipments.”
Qantas Freight has operated freighter services between Australia, China and the US for the past 15 years.
“Our enhanced agreement builds upon a strong and successful 15-year partnership between Atlas Air and Qantas and will capitalise on the state-of-the-art service solutions provided by our aircraft and crews,” adds William J. Flynn, president and CEO, Atlas Air Worldwide. “We look forward to supporting Qantas as it continues to capture market opportunities and enhance its position as a premier international airline.”
The 747-8Fs to be operated for Qantas will be allocated to it following the expiration of an existing ACMI agreement with another Atlas customer.
Widely regarded as one of the most efficient freighter aircraft in service, the B747-8F features a longer fuselage than the B747-400F, offering up to 20 per cent more freight capacity with space for seven extra pallets. “Our investment in wet-leasing these aircraft gives us a more competitive offering in the Australia-China-US freight markets and more operational efficiency,” adds David.
Qantas Freight operates a dedicated fleet of 14 freighter aircraft, as well as managing the freight capacity on Qantas and Jetstar passenger services across domestic and international routes.
Customers have a choice of over 5,000 weekly flights to over 80 destinations within Australia. Internationally, Qantas Freight offers cargo space on over 1,700 weekly flights to over 20 countries.