Boeing have confirmed that Guggenheim Aviation Partners (GPR), the U.S.-based aviation investment firm acting on behalf of the Guggenheim Aviation Investment Fund LP (GAIF), has placed an order for six 747-400ER Freighters valued at approximately US$1.37 billion at list prices.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2006 and continue through the first half of 2008. These airplanes were added to the Boeing orders and deliveries Web site on June 30, attributed to an unidentified customer.
“Guggenheim Aviation Partners recognizes the value of the Boeing 747-400 Freighter family as the standard for the air cargo market,” said Guggenheim Executive Officer Stephen Rimmer. “The 747-400ER Freighters will fit well with and extend our 747 freighter leasing strategy, which was designed to capitalize on the dynamic air cargo market.”
“Guggenheim Aviation Partners’ purchase of these new aircraft to be offered on lease to our cargo airline customers will extend Harry and Daniel Guggenheim’s legacy in the aviation industry by providing investment capital at a critical juncture for the industry,” said Peter Lawson-Johnston Jr. of Guggenheim Partners (the sponsor of GAIF) and Guggenheim family member.
The global air cargo industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the aviation market. Boeing projects in its World Air Cargo Forecast 2004/2005 that the air cargo industry will grow at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent, significantly higher than passenger traffic. Cargo traffic growth rates in excess of seven percent are projected for Asian routes - the largest increases in the world over the next 20 years.
In October 2004, Guggenheim also purchased five 747-400 Special Freighters which will become available to operators starting in 2007, with four aircraft already placed in Special Freighter configuration with Martinair. Guggenheim currently owns a total of 11 Boeing airplanes, eight of which are leased to operators, with three in freighter conversion programs.
“The 747-400 Freighter family is the clear favorite of the world’s leading freighter operators, and Guggenheim is positioning itself as a leader in freighter leasing,” said Scott Carson, vice president of Sales - Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Guggenheim’s 747 Freighter commitment clearly demonstrates Guggenheim’s foresight in the aviation industry and its continued confidence that the 747 freighter will continue to play the leading role in meeting the needs of the air cargo industry now and in the future.”
The 747-400ERF has a maximum takeoff weight of 910,000 pounds (412,775 kg) and a maximum payload of 248,600 pounds (112,760 kg). The airplane’s range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 km) makes it ideal for routes such as New York to Frankfurt, London to Seoul, or Tokyo to Los Angeles. Typical 747-400ERF cruise speed is 560 mph (901 km/h).
Eighteen of the world’s top cargo carriers have ordered 126 747-400 and -400ER Freighters. The Boeing 747 Freighter family provides more than half the world’s freighter capacity.