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27 May 2008
Arrival of First Boeing 747-400erf Heralds New Era for Cathay Pacific's Freighter Operations

Cathay Pacific Airways' cargo business has entered a new era following the arrival of the airline's first Boeing 747-400ERF "Extended Range Freighter" at the weekend. The new delivery marks the beginning of a significant enhancement of the freighter fleet, with the addition of newer, more efficient aircraft coupled with the retirement of the airline's older Boeing 747-200 "Classic" freighters.

The new Boeing 747-400ERF - the first of six to be delivered by next year - was handed over to Cathay Pacific on Thursday in Seattle. The aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, has a higher maximum takeoff weight than existing Boeing 747-400 freighters in the fleet, achieved by the use of lighter materials. This greater payload capability can be traded for extended range, while the highly efficient engines help to reduce fuel burn.

Cathay Pacific also has 10 Boeing 747-8F freighters on firm order for delivery between 2009 and 2012. Like the Boeing 747-400ERFs, these "next generation" freighters are highly fuel efficient, consuming 22% less fuel per revenue payload tonne than a "Classic" freighter and having a significantly reduced environmental impact.

Director & General Manager Cargo Ron Mathison said: "With fuel prices reaching historical highs, it is appropriate that we are equipping our fleet with new, far more efficient freighters that will have a much-reduced environmental impact. The introduction of the new 'Extended Range Freighters' will enable to us to move greater amounts of freight in a more efficient way, adding a further boost to Hong Kong's position as the world's leading international airfreight hub."

Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 19 freighters: one Boeing 747-400ERF, six Boeing 747-400Fs, six Boeing 747-400BCFs and six Boeing 747-200Fs. The airline's freighter network covers 34 destinations around the world, with two more - Houston and Miami in the United States - being added from September.

The Cathay Pacific Cargo team was joined by a number of top cargo agents to accept delivery of the airline's first Boeing 747-400ERF in Seattle.

Cathay Pacific's first Boeing 747-400ERF takes off from Everett Airfield in Seattle.

The new Boeing 747-400ERF at the HAECO hangar in Hong Kong, with Cathay Pacific's "Asia's world city" Boeing 777-300ER in the background.