The new aircraft marks a significant milestone for the Swiss global transport and logistics company.

An Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Kuehne+Nagel took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8 Freighter on Wednesday in what marked a significant milestone for the Swiss global transport and logistics company. Nicknamed “Inspire,” the new plane will be used to fulfill cargo deliveries as part of Kuehne+Nagel’s agreement with cargo carrier Atlas Air and is the first of two 747-8 freighters on order. The business hopes that the latest addition to its fleet will increase reliability and decrease transit times, ultimately allowing it to better serve its customers.

The ceremony


Photo: Kuehne+Nagel

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to commemorate Inspire’s inaugural flight at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center in Everette, Washington. Present for the ceremony were Boeing’s Vice President of Sales Brad McMullen, Atlas Air’s President and CEO John Dietrich, Atlas Air’s Vice President and CCO Michael Steen, and Kuehne+Nugel’s Executive Vice President of Air Logistics Yngve Ruud, among others.

Inspire and Empower (the other 747-8 freighter which Boeing has yet to deliver to Kuehne+Nagel) are expected to service trans-Pacific and intra-Asian routes. It is also worth noting that they are the last two 747 jets to be manufactured by Boeing, marking the end of an era for the iconic aircraft.

The new plane is Atlas Air’s tenth 747-8 freighter and its 52nd 747. Other planes in the cargo carrier’s 87-strong fleet include the 747-400F.

A unique aircraft

Cargolux Boeing 747-8F

Photo: Cargolux

Despite being a relatively older aircraft, the Boeing 747-8 Freighter has a number of unique features that make it rather novel even today. In particular, it is the only cargo freighter in production that has a nose door. This ensures that the aircraft is able to load and transport oversized cargo. In addition, the 747-8 freighter is 16% more fuel efficient and 30% quieter than other aircraft in its class–making it a considerably more sustainable option than its counterparts. It is also significantly less costly to operate, especially when considering how much fuel an aircraft of its size consumes. All in all, the 747-8 freighter also has a proven track record of excellence. Although Inspire is Kuehne+Nugel’s first, Atlas Air owns ten such planes and claims that they deliver the greatest value to their customers.

Kuehne+Nagel’s first 747-8 freighter solidifies an already strong relationship with Atlas Air and comes at a time when the freight industry is finally starting to recover from supply chain disruptions dating back to the pandemic era. Its nose door, fuel efficiency, and relatively quieter design ultimately give it a significant advantage over its counterparts and make it a tried and tested industry leader when it comes to cargo planes. Although Kuehne+Nagel’s newest plane is one of the last 747 planes that will ever be manufactured, the aircraft has certainly left its mark on the aviation industry and will continue to do so for as long as it is in operation. As demand for goods returns to pre-pandemic levels and Kuehne+Nagel has the chance to break in the latest addition to its fleet, there is no doubt that it will be very successful and highly profitable for the business.


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