Although 747-8F production continues apace, Cargo Facts has recently reported that four units have been ferried to desert storage pending delayed deliveries. The latest of these is JA15KZ (msn: 36139) the fifth 747-8F for Nippon Cargo Airlines – which is actually currently registered as N942BA.
NCA currently has two 747-8Fs in service, JA12KZ (msn: 36137) and JA13KZ (msn: 36138), both of which were delivered in 2012. In 2013, two more 747-8Fs have been readied for delivery, but both have been ferried to desert storage under Boeing registrations until delivery at a later date. A third aircraft, JA16KZ (msn: 36141) is expected to join them later this summer.
This development isn’t unique to NCA, either. Two other new 747-8Fs, for Cargolux (msn: 35822) and AirBridgeCargo (msn: 37669) have also been stored rather than delivered.
In a Bloomberg report from June 17, Eric Lindblad, who took over management of the 747 program from Elizabeth Lund (who moved to head the 777 program in March of this year) said recently that Boeing would likely have to continue to store some frames due to a ‘mismatch between production and deliveries.’ In the same report, Chuck Nugent, head of the GEnx program at General Electric, which makes the engines for the 747-8, opined that he expects interest in the big freighters to rebound: ” The cargo market has been challenged, but we remain very bullish on the 747-8.”
JA15KZ/N942BA was sent to Marana (MZJ) for storage on July 1. In April, NCA returned one 747-400F to the aircraft’s lessor (Wilmington Trust). The relatively new aircraft (msn: 34017, built in 2005), like the two 747-8Fs, is now stored at Marana. JA15KZ/N942BA is seen here during its program of initial test flights.
© Photo: Alex Kwanten