Atlas Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., announced it had taken delivery of the final 747 ever to be produced by Boeing. The delivery of this aircraft is the last of four new Boeing 747-8 Freighters Atlas ordered in January 2021. Atlas Air will operate this aircraft for Apex Logistics, a Kuehne+Nagel company, under a long-term agreement.
“Our company’s history and success are directly linked to the 747 platforms, and we are honored to continue our long history of flying this iconic aircraft for our customers around the world,” said John Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide. “Atlas Air was founded over 30 years ago with a single 747-200 converted freighter. Since then, we have spanned the globe operating the 747 into well over 800 airports in over 170 countries with nearly every series of the aircraft, including Boeing’s 747 Large Cargo Freighter for the transport of 787 Dreamliner parts.”
Mr. Dietrich added: “We’ve carried everything on the 747 from race cars to racehorses, from rocket parts to satellites, electronics, overnight express shipments – and various forms of perishables like fresh flowers, vegetables, and fish. The 747 has also been critical to carrying life-saving goods like medicine, vaccines, and personal protective equipment during the pandemic and other times of need. And we are proud to serve the U.S. military as the largest provider of their airlift – carrying both troops and cargo – and the 747 is the backbone of this critical work.
“We are pleased to operate this aircraft on behalf of Apex Logistics, a Kuehne+Nagel company. This is the second 747-8F delivery as part of our long-term strategic partnership with Kuehne+Nagel, which is reflective of our deep commitment to provide additional capacity for the expansion of their air cargo network.”
Mr. Dietrich concluded: “As the world’s largest operator of 747 freighters, Atlas is especially proud to take the last 747 ever to be built. We are grateful to Boeing for their shared commitment to safety, quality, innovation, and the environment, and for their partnership to ensure the continued success of the 747 programs as we operate the aircraft for decades to come.”
Atlas’ investment in these new aircraft supports the Company’s longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship. The 747-8 platform features an advanced design and engines, offering a 16% improvement in fuel use and CO2 emissions per tonne and a 30% smaller noise footprint compared to the previous generation of aircraft. The 747-8 is well renowned for its tremendous payload capacity and range and its unique nose-loading capability.
Atlas designed a custom split livery for this special aircraft, with the Atlas Air logo on the right side and tail of the aircraft and the Apex Logistics logo on the left side. To honor the legacy of the “Queen of the Skies,” a special decal is included to the right of the nose featuring Joe Sutter, considered by Boeing to be the “Father of the 747.”
“The names we chose for the last two iconic aircraft fit their legacy – ‘Inspire.’ and ‘Empower.’,” said Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel, responsible for Air Logistics. “We are looking forward to see the last 747-8F aircraft taking off to fulfill the versatile needs of our customers around the world with unmatched capability.”
“In 2001 when Apex was founded, our guiding principle was to empower employees with the common goal of offering customers flexible and reliable solutions to their logistics needs,” said Tony Song, Group Chief Executive Officer. “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. Together with our Apex Logistics colleagues, we are delighted to celebrate this very special occasion with Kuehne+Nagel, Atlas Air and Boeing.”
“This monumental day is a testament to the generations of Boeing employees who brought to life the airplane that ‘shrank the world,’ and revolutionized travel and air cargo as the first widebody,” said Stan Deal, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is fitting to deliver this final 747-8 Freighter to the largest operator of the 747, Atlas Air, where the ‘Queen’ will continue to inspire and empower innovation in air cargo.”