Boeing announced that Guggenheim Aviation Partner Fund II (GAIF II) has exercised options to purchase three 777 Freighters. The order, valued at approximately $750 million at list prices, was recently posted to the Boeing Orders and Deliveries Web site attributed to an unidentified customer. GAIF II has now ordered a total of six 777 Freighters and four 747-8 Freighters. Other Guggenheim Aviation Partners-managed funds have ordered six 747-400ER Freighters and have contracted to have seven 747-400s modified through the Boeing Converted Freighter Program.
“Guggenheim Aviation Partners has experienced continued success placing large cargo aircraft with customers around the world,” said Guggenheim Aviation Partners’ Executive Officer Stephen Rimmer. “The 777 Freighter is an ideal complement to our fleet and has unique capabilities that supplement and extend our leasing strategy. Our focus on the freight market played a significant role in the positive performance of our other investment fund and appealed to investors of GAIF II which raised $737 million of capital commitments,” Rimmer added.
“As an industry leader in freighter aircraft leasing, Guggenheim Aviation Partners recognizes that the 777 Freighter is instrumental in bringing the most efficient and capable cargo solutions to their customers,” said John Feren, vice president of Sales, Leasing & Asset Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing is pleased to partner with Guggenheim to meet the continued growth in market demand for large freighters.” In Boeing’s most recent Current Market Outlook, the company projects global air cargo demand will result in 3,350 freighters entering the world fleet over the next 20 years, accounting for a global fleet of 3,980 freighters after retirements. Large freighters, which include the 777 Freighter, will comprise 1,090 of that total - 58% of which will be factory-built airplanes. Boeing is the undisputed air cargo market leader, providing over 90% of the total worldwide dedicated freighter capacity.
The Boeing 777 Freighter will have unmatched capacity for a twin-engine freighter and is designed to facilitate easy interlining with the Boeing 747 Freighter. Both models are capable of handling 10-foot-high (3.1-meter) loads and load densities up to about 10 pounds per cubic foot (160 kg per cubic meter). To date, 82 777 Freighters, worth more than $20 billion at current list prices, have been ordered by 11 customers worldwide. The first 777 Freighter is scheduled to be delivered to Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008.