Guggenheim Aviation Partners is poised to order up to four Boeing 777 Freighters to add to its recent deal for four 747-8Fs.

Industry sources say the US lessor, which specialises in the freight market, has concluded a deal for three 777Fs, plus one option, for delivery in 2009 and 2010. The company declines to comment on the $900 million order.

Sources say that Guggenheim is bolstering its new-build freighter portfolio with the deal for the 103t-payload 777Fs, due to a perceived capacity shortfall in the cargo sector towards the end of the decade created as a knock-on effect of the Airbus A380 delay. This has forced customers to postpone 747-400 retirements, cutting off the "feedstock" to the freighter conversion market.

Guggenheim is still in discussions with Airbus about a deal for the proposed A330-200F, but the finalising of any order is conditional on a launch decision for the new aircraft, which has a projected payload of 64t.

Source: Flight International