AirBridge Cargo took delivery of its first 747-8F today, and Cargo Facts was on hand last night to get a sneak peek at the new aircraft. VQ-BLQ (msn: 37581) first flew back on December 21st, and will enter service in the very near future. AirBridge, part of the Volga-Dnepr group, placed an order for five 747-8Fs in March of 2007, with options for five more. The second will be delivered in March and the third in September, with the fourth and fifth scheduled to arrive in 2013.
The -8F will replace the remaining 747 classics in AirBridge’s fleet, two -200Fs and a lone -300SF (the very last -300 produced, delivered as a combi long ago to Sabena). This will lower the average age of AirBridge’s fleet (the rest of which is comprised of three 747-400F and five -400 ERFs) to just over three years, making it one of the most modern freighter fleets in the world. Tatyana Arslanova, executive president of AirBridge Cargo Airlines, also highlighted the fact that this youthful fleet will also be one of the most environmentally friendly, in a statement issued today.
Photographer: Alex Kwanten