As we reported last week on Air Transport Intelligence:
Qantas is mulling a plan to lease Boeing 747-8 or 777-200LR freighters, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The lease would likely be for a single-digit number of aircraft and will be announced in the coming months. It is unlikely to signal interest in passenger variants of the two aircraft.
The carrier is understood not to be interested in the Airbus A330-200 freighter.
"We are always looking at potential fleet options," a Qantas spokesman says, declining to comment further.
Qantas currently wet-leases three 747-400 freighter aircraft from Atlas Air, from whom it could call on for additional capacity.
"We have placed our first three deliveries with British Airways and are in talks with a number of additional existing and potential new customers regarding these attractive, next-generation freighters," an Atlas Air spokeswoman says. "We have received a great deal of interest in these game-changing aircraft from these parties, and we look forward to announcing the placement of aircraft with them at the appropriate time."
Qantas has seen strong freight volumes and yields, particularly on the carrier's five-weekly service between China and the United States.
Perhaps on the mind of aircraft spotters is what livery the potential new freighters will sport. They may have the same partial Qantas livery that the group's new 767 freighter sports. Chief executive Alan Joyce explained of the 767 freighter's livery: "Because it's a separate company, we decided just to have it as a white tail with the Qantas logo...we haven't had any freighters before painted in Qantas colours so we wanted to have something as a step towards Qantas but not going to the same passenger scheme."
You can see some attempted Qantas 747-8F mock-ups here.