Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has opted to exercise termination rights for three Boeing 747-8Fs that were part of a larger 12 aircraft order placed in September 2006.
"As prudent asset managers, terminating the first three aircraft was the right decision for our fleet, our customers and our stockholders. We expect the remaining 747-8Fs in our order to be better-performing aircraft than those we have terminated," said company CEO William Flynn.
Atlas stated the three early production freighters were scheduled to be the carrier's first deliveries in 2011. But Boeing subsequently rescheduled these aircraft to early 2012 and three more-recently built, better performing 747-8Fs were moved to the 2011 delivery positions.
Of the nine remaining aircraft, Atlas plans to take delivery of three this year four in 2012 and two in 2013.
The company plans to accept delivery of one of the better-performing 747-8Fs in October followed by two in November. The first three will enter ACMI service with British Airways.
The decision by Atlas to nix the three aircraft is another blow to Boeing's 747-8F programme as last minute contract wrangling forced the cancellation of a delivery ceremony planned for aircraft launch customer Cargolux on 19 September.
Boeing in 2010 reportedly shifted control of its 747-400 Large Cargo Freighters that ferry oversized components of the 787 from Evergreen International Airlines to Atlas as part of compensation to Altas for delays incurred in the 747-8 development programme.