Boeing delivers first 777 Freighter

Boeing has delivered the first of its new 777 Freighter aircraft to launch customer Air France.

Providing cargo capacity normally associated with larger airplanes, the twin-engined 777 Freighter can fly 4,880 nautical miles (9,038km) with a full payload of over 100 tonnes. The new aircraft is expected to progressively replace the 747-400 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) in the Air France cargo fleet. Air France currently operates five 747-400ER Freighters and four 747-400BCFs.

Earlier this month the European Aviation Safety Agency validated the US Federal Aviation Administration's type certification of the aircraft, which formally recognises that it has passed stringent design and testing requirements and is cleared for service.

"Our new Boeing 777 Freighter will operate very well with our 747-400ER Freighters," said Pierre Vellay, Air France executive vice president for new aircraft and corporate fleet planning. "Also, we will benefit from the airplane's commonality with our 777 passenger fleet and improve our cargo efficiency to help us through the current economic difficulties."

"The 777 Freighter uses less fuel per cargo tonne than any freighter operating," said Aldo Basile, regional vice president, sales, at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With the 777F, Air France will also experience the lowest maintenance costs and the lowest trip costs of any large freighter, as well as outstanding environmental performance."

The 777 Freighter is powered by General Electric's GE90-110B1L engines.

Twelve customers have ordered a total of 73 aircraft.

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