Apex Logistics International, a Kuehne+Nagel company, will put into operation the last Boeing 747-8 freighter tagged as the "Queen of Skies" as part of its long-term charter agreement with Atlas Air.
In a statement, Kuehne+Nagel said the aircraft would support customers on volatile trade lanes with reliable service, reduced transit times and increased efficiencies.
After a half-century production run of the jumbo jet, the last Boeing 747-8F under the name ‘Empower’ was presented to the public during the official ceremony at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center in Seattle.
The event marked the end of the production of the "Queen of the Skies" that helped catapult the global air logistics industry with its unique nose-loading capability, payload capacity and fuel efficiency.
Last 747 to operate on the Transpacific
Following the first Kuehne+Nagel aircraft 'Inspire', the new aircraft 'Empower' will operate on the Transpacific routings strengthening the intra-Asia network with better connectivity.
"The names we chose for the last two iconic aircraft fit their legacy - 'Inspire.' and 'Empower.' We look forward to seeing the last 747-8F aircraft taking off to fulfil the versatile needs of our customers worldwide with unmatched capability," said Yngve Ruud, member of the management board of Kuehne+Nagel, responsible for Air Logistics.
Tony Song, group chief executive officer of Apex, welcomed the last Boeing 747-8 freighter 'Empower", sharing how it reflected the guiding principle of the company when it started in 2001.
"Twenty years later, as part of Kuehne+Nagel Group, we are proud to introduce 'Empower.', the newest and most exciting addition to Apex Logistics. This aircraft will reinforce our ability to provide strategic solutions and unique alternatives with passion," Song added.
John Dietrich, president and chief executive officer of Atlas Air Worldwide, said this is the second 747-8F delivery they're making as part of the long-term strategic partnership with Kuehne+Nagel.
"[This] is reflective of our commitment to provide additional capacity for expanding their air cargo network," the Atlas Air chief added. "As the world’s largest operator of 747 freighters, Atlas is especially proud to take the last 747 ever to be built."
Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, noted that the 747 revolutionised travel and air cargo as the "first true widebody."
The Boeing 747-8 Freighter
The Boeing 747 is a large, long-range, wide-body airliner often referred to by the nickname 'Jumbo Jet.' It is among the world's most recognisable aircraft and the first widebody ever produced.
The first 747 was built as the largest civilian airplane in the world during the late 1960s. Since then, over 1,500 planes have been manufactured in several different versions.
In November 2005, Boeing launched the 747-8 family: the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airplane and the 747-8 Freighter. The 747-8 Freighter first flew on February 8, 2010.
The airplane is 76.3 meters long, which is 5.6 meters longer than the 747-400 Freighter. The stretch provides 16% more revenue cargo volume compared with its predecessor, which translates to an additional four main decks and three lower hold positions.