Guggenheim Aviation orders Boeing planes

A US-based aviation investment firm has requested $1.12bn-worth of high-capacity freighter planes.

Guggenheim Aviation Partners, a firm that acquires aircraft at discount prices and then leases them to airlines, has ordered four 747-8 aircraft from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a global leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, Boeing said.

The purchase is worth approximately $1.12 billion (€889 million) and includes an option to acquire two more planes, a press statement said. Delivery of the planes will begin in 2009.

Launched in November of 2005, the new 747-8 Freighter planes have a larger airframe that allows a payload capacity that is 16 percent larger than the current leading Boeing freight planes, the 747-400F, the statement said

Guggenheim Aviation funds own a total of 30 Boeing aircraft. That fleet includes seven 747 planes that will be converted from commercial aircraft into freight carriers in a special program known as the Boeing Converted Freighter program. Improvements in wing design and more fuel-efficient engines contribute to improved fuel burn.

Guggenheim Aviation Partners, a New York-based firm, is part of financial services firm Guggenheim Partners. Guggenheim Aviation was looking to raise up to $800 million for a fund in May. Its original fund raised $278 million in May of 2005.