Azerbaijan-based all-cargo carrier Silk Way Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Boeing to purchase four 747-8 Freighters. Silk Way’s Managing Director Shamsaddin Mirsalayev said the freighters would be would be delivered beginning in 2014 with the fourth unit arriving in 2017.
Silk Way currently operates three 747-400Fs and two 767-300Fs in scheduled service (mostly through its Silk Way West subsidiary), so adding the four 747-8Fs will effectively double its main-deck freight capacity. Silk Way also has two Il-76TD-90s, which it operates mostly in charter service.
Assuming, as seems likely, that the MoU is converted into a firm order, this will bring Boeing’s total 747-8F orders to seventy-four, of which twenty-nine have so far been delivered leaving a backlog of forty-five. Boeing has also taken forty firm orders for the passenger variant of the 747-8, and delivered twelve.