Bulgaria’s Compass Cargo Airlines becomes 58th active Boeing 747 operator

Compass Cargo Airlines introduced its and Bulgaria's first Boeing 747
Compass Cargo Airlines

Bulgaria-based cargo airline Compass Cargo Airlines welcomed its first Boeing 747 aircraft, becoming the 58th active operator of the type today.  

The Boeing 747-400F, registered as LZ-CJA, flew from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) to Sofia Airport (SOF), Bulgaria on July 19, 2023. “The Queen of the skies performed a low pass followed by right turn to join downwind to execute the landing,” Compass Cargo Airlines said at the time. 

According to the all-cargo airline, it was also Bulgaria’s first Boeing 747. 

Per ch-aviation.com data, 57 airlines actively operate 344 Boeing 747s. Including aircraft that are currently in storage or are being maintained, there are 580 aircraft of the type assigned to 68 different airlines, excluding Compass Cargo Airlines. This would make the Bulgarian airline the 69th to have the Boeing 747 in its fleet. 

Out of the 344 active aircraft, 72 are configured for passenger transportation, 263 are cargo, four are testbeds, four are designated as military jets (the E-4Bs, or the so-called Doomsday Planes of the United States Air Force (USAF), and a single aircraft is operated as a combi variant. The combi variant belongs to Dubai Royal Air Wing, the paramilitary airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and is registered as A6-COM. 

Meanwhile, Compass Cargo Airlines’ latest Boeing 747-400F was ordered and delivered to Singapore Airlines Cargo. Boeing delivered the Jumbo Jet to the Singaporean carrier in September 2001.  

In 2016, Singapore Airlines phased out the aircraft, with Turkey-based ACT Airlines taking over ownership of the double-decker. Between April 2016 and January 2021, SAUDIA wet leased the aircraft from the Turkish airline, before it eventually ended up with the Bulgarian airline in July 2023. 

Boeing delivered the last-ever 747 to Atlas Air on January 31, 2023, after building a total of 1,574 aircraft of the type. 

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