After a brief delay, Boeing has delivered the first B777-200LRF to Connecticut-based Southern Air, making the carrier the first ACMI operator to feature the 777 freighter, Boeing says.
Southern Air will place the aircraft into service with Thai Airways, who will be the first Asian carrier to use the 777 freighter. The aircraft will be based out of Bangkok.
From a recent article in Flightglobal publication Flight International:
Southern now operates 12 Boeing 747-200sand three 747-300s, with roughly two-thirds of its revenues coming fromits main wet-lease business and the remainder generated from a mix ofcivil and military charters. McHugh says Southern has no plans to phaseout or even shrink its 747 Classic fleet and sees the 777 ascomplementary.
McHugh says that over the past six months Southern has already beenoperating one of its 747-200s from Bangkok as part of the initial phasein Thai’s new cargo expansion plan. The next phase will involveSouthern’s two 777s operating from Bangkok to Frankfurt and “probably”to Amsterdam.
McHugh says Thai may also later use Southern’s 777s to launch cargoflights to Australia and North America. Thai has said a future phase ofits new cargo strategy is likely to also involve the carrier, which inrecent years has been mainly relying on passenger aircraft belly space,operating its own freighters.