Atlas terminates -8F trio

BAD-luck Boeing has faced yet another set-back to its 747-8F roll-out programme – Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has exercised its termination rights on three early-build versions of the freighter.

The three were part of an order of 12 747-8Fs announced in September 2006.

“As prudent asset managers, terminating the first three aircraft was the right decision for our fleet, our customers and our stockholders,” William Flynn, Atlas chief executive officer, said. “We expect the remaining 747-8Fs in our order to be better-performing aircraft than those we have terminated.”

Atlas expects to receive three 747-8Fs in 2011, four in 2012 and two in 2013. The first five of these aircraft have been placed under long-term aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) contracts.

The first three will enter ACMI service with British Airways and the second two with Panalpina.

Earlier this week Cargolux declined to receive the first two 747-8Fs citing “unresolved contractual issues”. Aviation experts said lower-than-expected performance of the first freighters, partly due to excess weight and higher fuel burn, is to blame.

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