The lease of two newest generation Boeing 747-8F aircraft strengthens Panalpina’s own controlled air freight network. “The upgrade from the two current Boeing 747-400 to the two new Boeing 747-8 freighters is expected to deliver improved, next-generation performance in terms of payload, fuel efficiency, total cost per tonne-mile and environmental impact”, said Matthias Frey, Global Head of Own Controlled Air Freight Network at Panalpina. The new production aircraft are to be delivered in the first half of 2012 and will enter service for Panalpina upon delivery. The aircraft will be Panalpina branded, carrying the names “Spirit of Panalpina” and “Passion for Solutions”.
Panalpina’s long-time partner Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., the only ACMI operator able to offer the new 747-8F to its customers, will continue to operate the new aircraft. “We are delighted to provide Panalpina, one of our most longstanding customers, with the industry’s newest freighter”, said William J. Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Air.
The Boeing 747-8 freighter, also called “Dash 8”, is 5.6 meters (18.3 feet) longer than the 747-400 freighter. The additional 120 cubic meters (4,245 cubic feet) of volume, afforded by the longer fuselage, offers space for four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-deck pallets. The total cargo volume is increased by 16% to 833 cubic meters (29,426 cubic feet). The maximum payload is 139 tonnes, which is 20 tonnes more than with the 747-400F. For maximum speed and efficiency, cargo on the 747-8F can be loaded and unloaded using both the nose and side doors.
The next-generation 787-technology engines deliver outstanding performance. The “Dash 8” is expected to have the lowest fuel consumption in its class. Carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 12% compared to the current 747-400F. The aircraft is also quieter. The noise footprint is reduced by 30% compared to the 747-400F. The “Dash 8” will thus play a key role in Panalpina’s PanGreen initiative which aims at reducing the environmental impact of the company’s business activities and services.
Panalpina’s Healthcare clients will be the first to benefit from the newest freighter technology. There is a high demand in large-freighter capacity in general, but particularly in Healthcare for temperature-sensitive cargo. The 747-8F offers enhanced visibility for Healthcare cargo via Atlas’s integrated operations monitoring system that monitors such things as the environment (e.g. temperature control). “With the ‘Dash 8’, we can not only provide more capacity, especially for our Healthcare, Hi-Tech, Automotive and Oil and Gas clients, but also more tailored solutions. In Healthcare for example, we are setting a new benchmark for state-of-the-art cold chain services”, said Karl Weyeneth, Panalpina’s Chief Operating Officer.
The new Boeing 747-8F will further strengthen Panalpina’s own controlled air freight network. Panalpina is the only freight forwarder with an own controlled network besides regular air freight product offerings and global charter programs. The own controlled network acts as an in-house carrier to the whole Panalpina network. It has been designed to offer capacities and solutions in routings required by customers across various industries that cannot be covered by commercial carriers in the air freight market. Less than 20% of Panalpina’s global air freight volumes are handled by the own controlled network. The remaining volumes are procured with commercial carriers.
Launched in 1990, Panalpina’s still very successful “Dixie Jet” was the first own controlled service. The company has since continuously developed its own controlled products and services. “Panalpina has always had a very strong customer focus and set industry standards”, said Weyeneth. “The signing on of the two 747-8F, marks the latest milestone in bringing innovation in air freight to our customers. The newest freighter technology will bring us into an even better position to provide the best possible customer solutions and further enhance our own controlled service offerings.”
Atlas Air Worldwide (AAWW) is the parent company of Atlas Air, Inc. (Atlas) and Titan Aviation Leasing (Titan), and is the majority shareholder of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. (Polar). Through Atlas and Polar, AAWW operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft. Atlas, Titan and Polar offer a range of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services that include ACMI service – in which customers receive an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance on a long-term basis; CMI service, for customers that provide their own aircraft; express network and scheduled air cargo service; military charters; commercial cargo charters; and dry leasing of aircraft and engines. AAWW’s press releases, SEC filings and other information may be accessed through the Company’s home page, www.atlasair.com.