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Tail-scrape badly damages Cargo B 747-200F

Belgian freight operator Cargo B Airlines is performing a detailed inspection of one of its two Boeing 747-200 freighters, following an incident at Brussels Airport which badly damaged the jet.

Brussels-based Cargo B, which began operations just over a year ago, operates a pair of 747-200 freighters, and is preparing to take delivery of a new 747-400 next month.

Cargo B director for cargo Gerard Terbruggen confirms that one of the airline's 747-200s was involved in an incident on 27 October.

Images of the aircraft show substantial damage to the rear fuselage, indicative of a serious tail strike, but Terbruggen declines to give any further details of the incident or the condition of the aircraft. He says: "At the moment [the aircraft] is under inspection. It is pending investigation and we will release details later on."

Cargo B 747 tail strike 

He identifies the aircraft as OO-CBA, which was manufactured in 1988. According to Flight's ACAS database, OO-CBA is owned by Irish-based 3P Air Freighters, a company which was set up by Cargo B's biggest shareholder Peter Cam.

Cargo B has a scheduled route, with stops in Sao Paulo, Ecuador and Columbia, and also performs charter missions to South America and Africa.

Next month the carrier will kick off its fleet-renewal programme with the arrival of a new 747-400. Terbruggen says: "We will receive a 747-400 freighter by the end of November. It has been a bit delayed due to the strike at Boeing. We are taking the aircraft on dry-lease."

He adds that the aircraft, which was originally due to arrive in mid-November, has already been completed and delivery timelines are being finalised.

Although Terbruggen declines to comment on the identity of the lessor, a statement on the airline's website says a 747-400 freighter is being sourced from Nippon Cargo Airlines. The aircraft will be used to replace one of Cargo B's 747-200s, which will be withdrawn next year.

Regarding the replacement of the second aircraft, Terbruggen says: "We are in discussions at the moment and expect to announce something in one or two weeks."

Cargo B claims its business has been left relatively untouched by the global financial crisis. Terbruggen says: "Our load factors haven't really been affected by the current situation. In South America and Africa demand is still promising. For the moment we haven't seen any major impact from the financial crisis."

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