Manchester Airport welcomes one of the world's largest commercial air freighters

19th December 2013

Today Manchester Airport welcomed one of the world’s largest commercial air freighters, as a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8 Freighter (B747-8F) landed from Hong Kong this morning. The new aircraft will fly on a regular basis on the Manchester to Hong Kong route and is capable of carrying over 130 tonnes of cargo.

The plane includes a high-lift, low-drag wing that enhances payload and range performance, a simplified flap system to reduce noise and maintenance costs, and what is described as the most advanced commercial aircraft engine available, the GEnx-2B.

Graeme Ferguson, Commercial Director for Cargo at Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “We are delighted to see Cathay Pacific upgrading its Manchester service to the B747-8F. This aircraft offers greater capacity and capability, and complements MAG’s commitment to encourage sustainable and more environmentally friendly aircraft operations. Cathay Pacific has been a long standing and very important cargo customer to Manchester Airport and we look forward to the benefits this brand new aircraft will bring to Cathay Pacific and its UK cargo customers.”

Manchester Airport is the third largest in the UK with over 20m passengers, flying to over 200 destinations with 70 airlines. Manchester Airport, the global gateway to and from Northern England has a catchment area home to 22 million people and its extensive ground transport infrastructure and on-site rail, bus and coach interchange, means 60% of all UK businesses are within a two-hour drive of the airport

Andrew Roe, Cathay Pacific’s Cargo Manager for UK & Ireland said: “Cargo is a major part of our business which is carried on our fleet of 26 B747 Freighters and in the bellies of our passenger aircraft through our Hong Kong Hub to over 40 freighter and 85 passenger destinations. Our range of products offers to our customers an array of options from outsized and specialised freighter cargo to pharmaceutical and temperature controlled solutions. The addition of the B747-8F on to our UK schedule will help us to continue to offer outstanding service to our customers.”

Manchester Airport handles around 100,000 tonnes of freight per annum at present and is home to the World Freight Terminal, a purpose built site that offers service providers in the air cargo and logistics supply chain easy access to the airfield. Work has already commenced on the new World Logistics Hub, part of the wider 800m Airport City project, which will form part of the UK Government-designated Enterprise Zone for Greater Manchester. The 100m, 1.4m sq ft World Logistics Hub will create 1,800 jobs by expanding Manchester Airport’s successful freight terminal to improve international trade, cut transit times and drive more efficient, sustainable supply chains.


Images available on request. For more information, contact the MAG press office on 0161 489 2700 or email


• Manchester Airport is the only major UK airport other than London Heathrow with two full-length runways and flies 20 million passengers annually to around 200 destinations
• MAG serves 42 million passengers annually through its ownership and operation of Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports
• For more information on the cargo operation at MAG airports, see the website at:
Cargo enquiries can be directed to Conan Busby, Business Development Manager for Cargo at

Published on: 19/12/2013 11:13:48