Azerbaijani private cargo airline Silk Way West Airlines has announced today that it will expand its international network. The Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD)-based logistics company has placed an order with Boeing for five 777 Freighters.
The deal with the Seattle planemaker marks the first time a Caspian Sea region company has bought a long-range large-capacity twin-engine cargo aircraft. By purchasing the five Boeing 777F planes, Silk Way West Airlines says it will increase its capacity to meet growing global demand.
The announcement was made in Baku
When speaking about the order in a statement from Boeing, Silk Way Group, president Zaur Akhundov said:
“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.”
Boeing and Silk Way West Airlines announced the order at a signing ceremony in the Azerbaijan capital Baku. On hand to witness Zaur Akhundov and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Stan Deal putting pen to paper were Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan, Rashad Nabiyev, and US ambassador to Azerbaijan, Earle D. Litzenberger.
“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% 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 honored 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.”
About Silk Way West Airlines
When founded in 2012, Silk Way West Airlines immediately became the most prominent air freight operator in the Caspian Sea region. From its hub, at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD), the freight carrier operates around 300 monthly flights to destinations worldwide. Recognized by Boeing as being one of the fasting growing cargo airlines, Silk Way West Airlines’ annual cargo turnover exceeds 350,000 tons.
According to the Boeing statement, Silk Way West Airlines’ current fleet comprises 15 dedicated 747-8F and Boeing 747-400F freighters. In 2020, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) named Silk Way West Airlines “Cargo Airline of the Year.”
About the Boeing 777F
The Boeing 777 Freighter is designed to blend with the cargo carrier’s existing operations and complement Silk Way West Airlines’ Boeing 747 Freighters. Both aircraft are capable of carrying tall and oversized cargo on three-meter-tall pallets.
With a range of 4,967 nautical miles (9,200 kilometers), the Boeing 777F is the world’s longest-range twin-engine cargo aircraft. With a maximum payload of 112.4 US tons (102,000 kilograms), Silk Way West Airlines will need to make fewer stops on long-haul routes, thus saving on landing fees.
Thanks to better operating costs and lower CO2 emissions, the Boeing 777 Freighter has become Boeing’s best ever-selling freighter. Since the Boeing 777F program began in 2005, Boeing has recorded orders for 247 aircraft.
Given the growth in e-commerce and the need to ship medical equipment and vaccines due to COVID-19, cargo operators are thriving, unlike the rest of the aviation industry. The move by Silk Way West Airlines to order the more efficient Boeing 777Fs makes perfect sense and is a logical step in the air freight carrier’s growth.
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