December 1 - King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has seen the arrival of the new Boeing 747-8 freighter for the first time.

Luxembourg-based cargo airline Cargolux operated the flight, which after unloading at KKIA's cargo terminal, continued to Hong Kong.

Cargolux is Boeing's launch customer for the 747-8 Freighter. Commenting on the arrival of the first Boeing 747-8F in Riyadh, Engr. Abdullah Al-Tassan, KKIA director general, said: "Cargolux has become one of our most important cargo airline clients at KKIA. The airline's upgrade of its Riyadh service today confirms our important role in the air cargo industry. It is in line with our strategic plan to attract cargo airlines from all over the world and to increase the number of cargo flights on routes with high demand."

Commenting on the importance of Riyadh in the company's global network, Frank Reimen, Cargolux president and chief executive officer, said: "We started our weekly service to Riyadh on August 1, 2010 with a Boeing 747-400 freighter. When we received our new flagship aircraft in October this year, we were keen to use the economics of the new-generation Boeing 747-8 freighter and deploy its enhanced payload capacity to King Khaled International Airport to bring high-value and temperature-sensitive goods to the Kingdom's capital in a most efficient manner.

Cargolux expanded its services to Saudi Arabia earlier last summer by adding Riyadh to its destination network and says that it has been carrying mostly high amounts of consumer goods, machinery and pharmaceuticals to the Saudi capital.