Global airfreight provider Atlas Air Worldwide has entered an agreement with Boeing to buy four new 747-8 Freighters to meet the increasing cargo demand.

The 747-8s will be the last units to be rolled off Boeing’s Everett production line in Washington.

Last July, Boeing announced the decision to complete production of the 747-8 next year.

The Boeing 747-8 Freighter has a maximum payload capacity of 137.7mt, with customers having access to 20% more payload capacity.

The freighter features 30% quieter engines and reduces fuel consumption to 16% compared with previous-generation 747s.

Atlas Air Worldwide president and chief executive officer John Dietrich said: “The 747-8F is the best and most versatile wide-body freighter in the market, and we are excited to bolster our fleet with the acquisition of these four aircraft.

“This significant growth opportunity will enable us to capitalise on strong demand and deliver value for our existing and prospective customers. The efficiency and capability of the 747-8F further complement our longstanding focus on leading-edge technology.

“Dedicated freighters – like those operated by our Atlas, Polar and Southern subsidiaries – will continue to be in demand as the global airfreight market, particularly the e-commerce and express sectors, continues to grow.”

In a separate development, Boeing’s fourth-quarter deliveries report revealed that the company delivered 59 commercial aircraft.

It also limited its 787 deliveries for the quarter due to continued comprehensive inspections.

Boeing enterprise operations executive vice-president and chief financial officer Greg Smith said: “Through the global pandemic, we took meaningful steps to adapt to our new market, transform our business and deliver for our commercial, defence, space and services customers in 2020.

“The resumption of 737 MAX deliveries in December was a key milestone as we strengthen safety and quality across our enterprise.”