By Andy Sambidge
Saudi Airlines Cargo Co says aircraft will serve the Asia to Europe cargo market
Saudi Airlines Cargo Co said on Wednesday it is set to add two new 747-8F aircraft to its fleet, bringing the total number of freighters operated by the company to 15.
The first 747-8F was delivered this month and is expected to be operational by May.
The second aircraft is scheduled to be delivered in mid-June 2013. Both aircraft will serve the Asia to Europe market.
The arrival of the new aircraft is expected to further enhance the airline's position in the global market place and is part of its growth strategy, a statement said.
"We are extremely excited to be taking delivery of our first two Boeing 747-8F aircraft," said Mohammed Linjawi, vice-president, Operations of Saudia Cargo.
"Not only is this one of the best aircraft in the world in terms of air freight performance, it can also accommodate 15 tonnes more than the Boeing 747-400 currently in use," he added.
Longer than the 747-400F by 5.6 metres, with a maximum structural payload capability of 140 metric tonnes, the 747-8F will be able to accommodate four additional main-deck pallets and three additional lower-hold pallets.
Saudi Airlines Cargo operates scheduled freighter services with 15 freighters and sells the belly-capacity on 145 passenger aircraft for Saudi Arabia's flag carrier Saudia, spanning a global network of 225 destinations.
Earlier this month, Saudi Airlines Cargo Co said it had strengthened its relationship with Fast Forward Cargo in the UAE by increasing its frequencies to West Africa from Dubai World Central.
Under an agreement signed by both parties, the new partnership will operate what is equivalent to 175 combined B747 flights between the UAE and West Africa, connecting mainly to Lagos in Nigeria and N'Djamena in Chad via Saudia Cargo's hubs in Riyadh and Jeddah.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.