European freight carrier Cargolux has launched scheduled flights with its Boeing 747-8F into South America becoming the first company to operate the aircraft on services into the region. The airline used one of its aircraft to inaugurate flights to Latacunga in Ecuador from February 3, 2013, replacing Panama City as the southernmost destination to be served by the latest variant of the Jumbo Jet in the Americas.
The new link to Latacunga is operated in association with Aguadilla in Puerto Rico, another new destination for the Luxembourg-based business. This followed an extensive period of work with local authorities in the country to clear Aguadilla for the 747-8Fs arrival, facilitating its expansion in South America. “This could not have been achieved without the cooperation of Boeing, the Aguadilla Airport Authority, the Puerto Rico Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration,” said a Cargolux spokesman.
Cargolux is working to further increase its network with the 747-8F in South America and to introduce the type on its existing routes to Brazil. The country remains one of the last destinations in the carrier’s network that has yet to secure operational certification for the stretched 747 at its airports. A Cargolux spokesman describes the situation as “a challenge” for the Luxembourg-based carrier. It is currently limited to using its older and smaller 747-400Fs.