The Chart:

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ABC Wants Another 747-8F, Quick

AirBridgeCargo has publicly stated they're taking a new 747-8F for delivery in October of this year. That's exciting news, but the interesting question is "Which one?". Here are the realistic options:
  • Line 1437 - The last remaining Atlas NTU still unspoken for. She's a bit heavy, but she's extremely available. Currently this frame is down in Victorville for some unknown reason. Could she be getting new engines and paint? Likelihood: HIGH.
  • Line 1485/7/9) - NCA has three frames prepared and waiting for delivery. Two are in storage in the desert, one is at KPAE. NCA has a history of swapping 747-400F frames with ABC. However, line 1489, the newest one and still at KPAE, was just painted in NCA colors after being bare for a year. This points to NCA still planning on taking all three frames. Likelihood: LOW
  • Line 1501/2 (Customer code) It's unclear who these frames are for. Originally they were suspected to be for Silk Way, but now one has a grey tail and the other is unpainted. They've both flown and are airworthy. My main reservation is that they have the same customer code, which indicates they're likely for the same customer. Unless something has changed. Likelihood: MEDIUM HIGH
AirBridgeCargo also stated they want to eventually move to an all 747-8F fleet. They currently have eight 747-400. One is set to be returned to the lessor, and it was just replaced by line 1376. All of ABC's 747-400 frames are quite young. If they're leases, that doesn't matter so much. This means there could be potential for six to eight 747-8F orders over the next few years.

UPDATE: Looks like the answer is - Line 1501 (RC671) VQ-BVR... which really makes me wonder what the hell is going on with line 1437.

UPDATE 2: Nope. Line 1505 (RC564?) VQ-BVR

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, while we should have thought of it, most of us were fixated on 1501/1502 for sure. I suppose it does make sense for them to use 1505 if they feel that 1501/1502/1520/1521 will indeed be firmed up soon.

    What is also interesting to me is that this new ABC frame is painted already with no firm order placed. Or, at least, not one that was announced.

    Regarding 1437, it appears she did fly back to KPAE today. Maybe soon there will be some clarity for her as well.