Baku-based cargo airline Silk Way West Airlines has announced that it will expand its international network, following a deal struck with Boeing for five Boeing 777 dedicated freighters.
The deal reportedly marks the first purchase of the long-range, high-capacity twin-engine freighter in the Caspian region and central Asia.
The airplanes will enable the airline to increase its capacity to meet growing cargo demand around the globe.
“This deal is an incremental part of our fleet renewal and our commitment to meet our customers’ expectations. I am confident that the acquisition of new freighters will further strengthen our leading position on the global air freight market for the next 15 to 20 years,” said Zaur Akhundov, Silk Way Group president.
Silk Way West Airlines and Boeing leaders announced the agreement during a signing ceremony in Baku that included Akhundov; Rashad Nabiyev, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan; and Earle Litzenberger, US ambassador to Azerbaijan; as well as Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“Silk Way West Airlines has been rapidly expanding the geographic reach of its network. With the global air freight market forecasted to grow more than 60 per cent over the next 20 years, this new order bolsters their ability to meet trade and e-commerce demand in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America,” said Deal.
“We are honoured to partner with them and look forward to introducing the market-leading efficiency and capability of the 777 Freighter to its fleet of 747 Freighters.”
According to Boeing, the 777 Freighter is the world’s largest, longest-range, and most capable twin-engine freighter.
The airplane’s better fuel efficiency and ability to reduce CO2 emissions by 17 per cent compared to legacy airplanes will contribute to the carrier’s sustainability goals.
With a range of 9,200 kilometers, the 777 Freighter can carry a maximum payload of 102,000 kilograms, allowing Silk Way West Airlines to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.
Designed to integrate smoothly with existing cargo operations, the 777 Freighter will provide Silk Way West Airlines operational flexibility with five 747-8 Freighters and seven 747-400 Freighters the carrier currently operates.
The 747 and 777 freighters are capable of carrying tall and outsized cargo loads on three-metre-tall pallets.
This common main-deck pallet height capability enables interchangeable pallets. Additionally, the 777 Freighter main deck side cargo door is 3.72 metres wide, giving the freighter outsized carriage capability beyond tall payloads.
The 777 Freighter is Boeing’s top-selling freighter of all time. Customers from around the world have ordered 247 B777 Freighters since the program began in 2005.
The market leader in air cargo aircraft, Boeing provides more than 90 per cent of the worldwide dedicated freighter capacity, including new production and converted aircraft.
Founded in 2012 in Baku, Silk Way West Airlines is the largest cargo airline in the Caspian Sea region with an annual cargo turnover of 350,000 tons.
Based at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, the airline operates approximately 350 monthly scheduled flights to 40 destinations around the world.
Article courtesy of Airlinerwatch.