Korean Air says it has become the first airline in the world to operate both of Boeing's new 747-8 and 777 freighters after taking delivery of the new aircraft at Seoul-Incheon airport, according to the Shipping Gazette.
"We are very proud to become the first airline in the world to have the combined strengths of these two freighters," said Korean Air chairman Yang Ho Cho, in a company statement.
"Our cargo fleet is being improved by these fuel-saving planes. They can help reduce carbon emissions by 17 per cent and this supports our goal to be a responsible citizen of the world."
The 747-8 freighter offers a range of 8,130 kilometres and a maximum structural payload capacity of 154 tons (140 tonnes), while offering an additional 4,221 cubic feet and 16 per cent more revenue cargo volume than the 747-400 freighter, the carrier highlighted.
"The twin-engine Boeing 777 Freighter is the most fuel-efficient airplane with leading economic and environmental performance in its category. It has a cargo capacity of 103 tonnes with a range of 9,038 kilometres," the statement said.
Said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh: "It is hard to imagine reaching this day without the leadership of YH, and his vision to transform Korean Air into one of the best global airlines in the world."
The airline plans to operate the 747-8 freighter on its transpacific route, with stops in Osaka and Tokyo-Narita, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The 777, as the carrier's first twin-engine freighter, will facilitate its plans to enter new aviation markets in Europe, including Vienna, Frankfurt and London.