MIAMI – Baku-based Silk Way West Airlines (7L) is set to become a Boeing 777(F) operator, after placing an order for five of the type.

The deal was announced with Silk Way West Airlines and Boeing leaders at a signing ceremony in Baku, Azerbaijan. Zaur Akhundov, Silk Way Group president, and Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, were also joined by Rashad Nabiyev, Minister of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies of Azerbaijan, and Earle D. Litzenberger, US ambassador to Azerbaijan.

According to Akhundov, the acquisition will further strengthen the leading position of the carrier in the global air freight market for the next decades. “This deal is an incremental part of our fleet renewal and our commitment to meet our customers’ expectations.”

Silk Way West Airlines is an all-Boeing operator, with five 747-400s and five 747-8(F)s in its fleet. The incorporation of the 777(F) in its fleet also makes 7L in the first customer in the Caspian and Central Asia region for the long-range high-capacity twin-engine freighter.

A digital depiction of a Silk Way West Boeing 777 freighter overflying Baku, capital city of Azerbaijan. (Credits: The Boeing Company)

Bolstering Commonwealth of Independent States

As stated by Boeing’s most recent Commercial Market Outlook, there will be a demand for around 930 freighter aircraft in the next two decades, intended in part to replace aging fleets and to support the growth of the air freight market, forecasted to grow by 60% over the next 20 years.

In the words of Stan Deal, the new order “Bolsters the ability of Silk Way West Airlines to meet trade and e-commerce demand in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America.”

Founded in Baku back in 2012, Silk Way West Airlines is the largest cargo operator in the Caspian Sea region, averaging 350,000 tons each year. The airline operates about 350 monthly flights to 40 destinations around the world. 

This Boeing 777(F) has become the best-selling Boeing freighter of all time, with 247 orders placed since the program’s launch in 2005. According to Boeing, the airframer provides more than 90% of the dedicated worldwide freighter capacity between factory-fresh and converted jetliners.

Featured image: Silk Air West Airlines