British Airways cargo division heads for 747-8F operations

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British Airways is to take on three Boeing 747-8 freighters for its World Cargo division next year, which will be operated under a wet-lease through Global Supply Systems.

Global Supply Systems performs cargo flights on behalf of British Airways. The company is 49%-owned by US-based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, which will act as the source and lessor of the aircraft.

Three 747-8Fs will be operated by GSS, on the British Airways network, under a five-year wet-lease agreement.

"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," says BA World Cargo managing director Steve Gunning.

He describes the decision to move to the 747-8F as an "important step" in the company's development.

Atlas Air is expecting to take delivery of the aircraft - among 12 it has on order from Boeing - early next year.

Chief executive William Flynn says that BA's World Cargo division will be one of the first carriers to introduce the 747-8F to its operations.

"Through GSS, our new aircraft will give BA World Cargo increased capacity and revenue-generating capability in a growing air freight market," he says.