Jumbo freighter set for Indian summer in Russia?
11 / 07 / 2016
The Boeing 747 may be in retreat as a passenger plane but the freighter version could receive a boost if Boeing signs a deal with Russian carrier Volga Dnepr at the UK’s Farnborough Airshow tomorrow.
News agency reports suggest that the US plane maker is expected to firm up at least part of a memorandum of understanding with Volga-Dnepr Group for up to 20 B747-8F freighters initialled in June 2015. Some sources suggest that as many as ten aircraft could be ordered tomorrow.
If confirmed, the new planes would form part of the Russian carrier’s plans to transform itself from being a niche carrier to a global operator. The deal would give it one of the largest full-freighter fleets outside of the integrators.
It would also be welcome news for Boeing, which has seen orders for the 747-8 freighter dwindle, including the cancellation of a four-strong order by Japan’s Nippon Cargo Airlines in September, which forced Boeing to slow down its freighter production line.
The Volga-Dnepr group surprised the industry last November when its scheduled arm, AirBridgeCargo, took delivery of two leased 747-8Fs that had previously thought to have been part of the MoU, rather than firm orders.