First 747 8F in Polar/DHL Colors

Polar Air Cargo 747-8F

Polar Air Cargo’s first 747-8F (msn: 37572) is seen here landing in the winter sun following the completion of its first flight – to Moses Lake/Grant County and back to Paine Field.

September saw the debut of the 747-8F in Atlas Air’s colors, and December will see delivery of this aircraft in this hybrid DHL/Polar livery. Both of these aircraft, the sixth and seventh 747-8F’s for Atlas Air, will be flying freight for DHL within the Polar Air Cargo network. Curiously, unlike other Polar Air Cargo aircraft in this scheme (all 747-400s), the new -8F bears an “operated by Atlas Air” script on the nose. Atlas has owned Polar since 2001, while DHL took a 49% stake in the carrier in 2006.

Atlas Air is due to take delivery of two more 747-8Fs in early 2013, for a total of nine spread between British Airways World Cargo/Global Supply Systems (3), Panalpina (2), Atlas, and Polar (1 each, with two more to come, likely in Atlas colors).

DHL’s full livery can be seen on aircraft of several carriers in Europe, Asia, and the Americas (in fact, DHL Air UK has recently taken delivery of three new-build 767-300s), but so can a hybrid livery. Kalitta, Southern, and Air Hong Kong, like Polar, also use a hybrid scheme with their own liveries on the forward sections and the yellow DHL tail aft.

© Photographer Alex Kwanten.

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