The President of AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines (J2, Baku) has called on Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) to keep the B747-8(F) production line active given Azerbaijan's impending need for largescale cargo capacity.

Jahangir Askerov told a press conference following his meeting with the President of Cargolux (CV, Luxembourg), Richard Forson, in Baku this week that the Azeri carrier group would need at least twenty B747-8(F)s over the next ten years in order to fulfil its role as the official carrier for China's One Belt and One Road trade stimulus project.

As such, given concerns Boeing could shut down the B747-8 line given a lack of demand, Askerov said he intended to make a request to the US airframer to continue the production of this type of aircraft.

Silk Way Airlines (ZP, Baku) is Azerbaijan's dedicated cargo carrier with its Silk Way West Airlines (7L, Baku) unit employing five B747-8(F)s and one B747-400(FSCD) on regular flights to more than 20 destinations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. Last year, the carrier was linked to an order for two more Boeing freighters, said to be either B777-Fs or B747-8(F)s.