While there have been some rumors about the coming sunset of the four-engined Boeing 747 freighter, Russian carrier AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) said it has seen oversized cargo shipment demand for its nose-loading jumbo jets rise by 3%, year-over-year, during the first four months of 2019, to more than 11,000 tonnes.
Because of this interest in heavy and oversized cargo that requires the 747F’s unique nose-loading door, ABC has created a new “abc XL” livery on one of its widebody workhorses to increase the visibility of its capabilities.
For the first part of 2019, “the growth in ‘abc XL’ shipments also included a more than 10% increase in out-of-gauge cargoes being loaded through the swing-up nose cargo door of our 747 fleet, amounting to more than 2,000 tonnes,” said Vasiliy Zhukov, ABC’s global director of heavy and outsized cargo. “The Boeing 747 freighter’s capabilities and efficiency – including its nose cargo door loading feature – significantly ramps up the volume of different oversized and heavy shipments we can transport across our international network.”
The upsurge in demand for oversize and heavy shipments was highest on the trade lanes between Europe and North America, ABC said, with about a two-fold increase in cargo ex-Europe, plus growth of 45%, y-o-y, from North America.
The “abc XL” liveried freighter will accompany the existing “abc pharma” branded ABC freighters in the carrier’s fleet and will be another eye-catching plane for planespotters across the globe.