© Khunaspix Dreamstime.

Cargolux Airlines, Europe’s largest all-cargo airline, has taken delivery of another 747-8 freighter from Boeing. The aircraft was handed over at a ceremony at Boeing’s Everett factory in Seattle. LX-VCN, ‘Spirit of Schengen’, is Cargolux’s 14th 747-8F. The aircraft was originally scheduled to be delivered in 2017, however, Boeing and Cargolux have agreed to advance the delivery to September 2016. Cargolux expects to cover increasing demand for cargo space during the upcoming high season with this aircraft.

Cargolux was instrumental in the development of the 747-8 freighter and Boeing used much of the airline’s input in the aircraft design. Boeing has since acknowledged that, without Cargolux, there would be no 747-8 today. The Luxembourg carrier became the launch customer with an initial order for 10 units in 2005 and was the world’s first operator of this aircraft type in October 2011.

‘The 747-8 Freighter has proved to be a tremendous addition to Cargolux’s fleet, providing increased capacity, more range and outstanding economics,’ said Monty Oliver, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. ‘We congratulate Cargolux on this latest delivery and are honored that the 747 remains the mainstay of its all-Boeing fleet.’

LX-VCN will operate its first commercial flight from Seattle to Luxembourg with a full load of cargo. All Cargolux 747 freighters have traditionally operated their delivery flight as a revenue-earning flight. The aircraft arrives in Luxembourg on Friday, 30 September.

‘Cargolux operates in a highly competitive market. In such an environment, an aircraft that combines economic efficiency with high earning potential gives a clear advantage,’ says Richard Forson, Cargolux President & CEO. ‘I see the 747-8F as an industry stalwart; this aircraft has already proven its worth for Cargolux in five years of reliable and efficient operation and it will continue to drive growth and revenues for Cargolux in the years to come’,

LX-VCN brings the Cargolux fleet to 26 747 freighters, the largest the company has ever operated. This fleet includes such stars as LX-VCL that carries the name of ‘Joe Sutter – Father of the 747’ – in memory and tribute to the man who started it all back in the 1960s – and LX-VCM, that sports a unique anniversary livery by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt. An increasing number of Cargolux 747-8Fs also carry the names of its biggest and most loyal customers in honor of their trust and support through more than 45 years of operation.