Atlas Air takes 3rd of last Boeing 747 as last plane rolls off production line

On Wednesday, Atlas Air took delivery of a Boeing 747-8 Freighter. This unit is the second of four new 747-8 Freighters ordered by the company in 2021, which are also the last 747s ever produced by Boeing, ending the “Queen of the Skies” assembly line.


Before last

The American carrier Atlas Air took delivery of a new Boeing 747-8F, registration N861GT, earlier this week, following a flight from Paine Field Airport (PAE) in Everett to the international airport of Miami (MIA). This new airliner is the third ever to be produced by Boeing.

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Earlier this week, we also learned that the penultimate 747 had rolled out of the Boeing factory. Atlas Air will take delivery of the two remaining “Queens of the Sky” this year, and Boeing will end a 54-year history.

Atlas Air’s new 747-8F was placed under a long-term agreement with an existing customer, according to the company. The 747-8F offers 20% more payload capacity and 16% less fuel burn than the previous version, the 747-400F. John Dietrich, President and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide, said:

“We are excited to receive this additional 747-8F and add more capacity and value to our customers. Atlas’ investment in these new aircraft underscores our commitment to environmental stewardship by reducing aircraft emissions, resource consumption and noise.

Atlas Air has received a sixth Boeing 747-8 Freighter. This company has the largest fleet of 747 freighters in the world. Photo: Atlas Air.

The remaining 747

In 2020, at the height of the airline industry’s pandemic crisis, Boeing announced that it would stop manufacturing the classic 747 within the next two years. Atlas Air placed the final order for the iconic model in January 2021, requesting four all-new 747-8F aircraft, in an order valued at more than US$1.6 billion. This order would bring Atlas Air’s 747 fleet to 57 aircraft. The freighter is already the largest operator of 747 freighters in the world.

Atlas Air has a fleet of 87 aircraft, including 52 Boeing 747s. Photo: Atlas Air.

In June 2022, Atlas Air took delivery of the first of these four new 747-8Fs. This plane operates on behalf of the Chinese logistics company Cainiao, owned by the Alibaba group. Atlas Air said,

“The iconic Boeing 747 program has been in service for more than 50 years and these aircraft will continue to play a vital role in keeping global supply chains moving for decades to come.”

Boeing confirmed to Simple Flying that it expects the remaining two 747s to be delivered this year. Earlier this week, it was reported that the penultimate deployment took place at Paine Airport in Washington. This aircraft is registered N862GT. Meanwhile, the last 747 ever built, registered N863GT, entered the final body on September 29.

According to data from ch-aviation, there are currently 104 Boeing 747-8Fs in the world. UPS Airlines has the most such aircraft, with 28, followed by Cargolux (14), Cathay Pacific (14), AirBridgeCargo (12) and Nippon Cargo Airlines (eight).

What are your fondest memories of the Boeing 747 program? Let us know in the comments below.

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