Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific Airways has taken delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F freighter from its order for ten aircraft. The carrier becomes the first operator of this new generation aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region, the largest for air cargo in the world.
With the delivery of B-LJE Cathay joins launch operation CargoLux, which took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F on October 12.
The 747-8F Freighters are expected to progressively replace the 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) in the Cathay Pacific Cargo fleet. Cathay Pacific currently operates six 747-400 Freighters, six 747-400ER Freighters and eight 747-400BCFs.
Cathay expects significant fuel burn improvements in the new aircraft, along with lower operating costs and emissions. Cathay already uses innovative techniques to reduce weight of their aircraft. This includes 747 freighters with no paint on them.
However, the 747-8F has a full coat of paint. One can only speculate why Cathay chose to abandon its “no paint” effort.
A video of the delivery flight from Paine Field to Hong Kong on October 31, 2011 is below.