BA to wet-lease Boeing 747-8 freighters

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British Airways has signed a five-year wet leasing agreement with Global Supply Systems Limited to operate three Boeing 747-8 freighters starting next year.

Global Supply Systems Limited is 49%-owned by Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and will operates the aircraft on behalf of British Airways' cargo division, British Airways World Cargo.

AAWW's Atlas Air unit expects to take delivery of the first aircraft from Boeing in early 2011.

Steve Gunning, Managing Director of British Airways World Cargo, says, "The decision to once again work alongside our long-term freighter partners, GSS and Atlas Air, to upgrade to the Boeing 747-8 freighter was an important step by British Airways World Cargo. It is our view that long-haul freighters form an integral part of our overall business strategy - providing flexibility and capacity on resilient and growing lanes - as we strive for continued excellence in all key areas of the business, including product range, customer service and, of course, network offering."

Atlas Air has an order for 12 747-8 freighters with deliveries expected between 2011 and 2013.