Earlier this week, Japan-based Nippon Cargo Airlines cancelled its outstanding order for two 747-8Fs (NCA cancels remaining 747-8F orders). Today, the announcement of a firm two-aircraft order from Singapore-headquartered BOC Aviation appeared to soften the blow, but it will have no real impact on Boeing’s backlog, because it is part of Boeing’s already-announced twenty-unit agreement with Russia-based Volga-Dnepr Group. Upon delivery, both aircraft will immediately enter the fleet of Moscow-based AirBridgeCargo, on long-term leases of undisclosed terms.
Although BOC Aviation’s involvement is new, additional 747-8F deliveries bound for AirBridgeCargo have been expected since the 2016 Farnborough airshow. During the show, ABC’s parent, Volga-Dnepr Group reconfirmed an MoU for twenty 747-8Fs it had initiated the year prior at the Paris Air Show. According to our records, ABC’s tenth 747-8F (63378) was unit five in this twenty-unit deal.
Volga-Dnepr has always maintained that the orders would be a mix of purchases and leases. In October 2016, US-based lessor Intrepid Aviation played a similar intermediary role between Boeing and AirBridgeCargo when it converted an existing order for passenger widebody aircraft into an order for two 747-8Fs, and then entered into a 14-year lease agreement with ABC.
The first aircraft financed by Intrepid (63781), is expected to be delivered within the next month, with the second scheduled to arrive in September. AirBridgeCargo has two additional unfulfilled orders logged with Boeing, and combined with BOC Aviation’s two units, brings the order total related to the twenty-unit deal up to eleven. If Volga-Dnepr is to take delivery of all twenty aircraft, nine additional orders from the company itself or lessors can be expected in the coming years as the company maintains deliveries of around two units per year.
Now for a video of two AirBridgeCargo 747-8Fs landing back-to-back in Amsterdam:
Those interested in learning more about Volga-Dnepr Group are invited to join as at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25-26 April where Robert van de Weg, the company’s Group SVP will speak on a panel on titled “Challenges and Opportunities in Asia Pacific Air Cargo.” Separately, Joanna Li, VP Asia Pacific will speak on a panel titled “One Belt, One Road… One Sky?” For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com