Boeing Targets Market with Biggest Airliner
Boeing Company has launched its biggest airliner today, with orders worth $5 billion for a stretched and upgraded version of its 747 model. The new 747-8 freight planes were ordered from freight carriers Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines.
With rival Airbus planning to deliver its huge A380 double-decker later this year, Boeing’s 747-8 will target users of the long-serving 747 with two stretched versions powered by new and more efficient engines from General Electric.
Cargolux, based in Luxembourg, has ordered 10 of the 747-8 freighter versions and taken purchase rights for an additional 10, according to Boeing. Deliveries of the airliners will begin in the third quarter of 2009. Nippon Cargo of Japan has ordered 8 airliners and executed options for an additional 6 and will receive the first in the fourth quarter of 2009.
According to Boeing, “Firm orders from the two launch customers are valued at approximately $5 billion at list prices.” Discounts in the industry are common. The manufacturer is also offering a passenger version of the plane designated the 747-8 Intercontinental, but has yet to announce a buyer.
Boeing said the new airliner would cost 20 percent less to operate per flight than the Airbus A380, which features an extended upper deck and seating for more than 800 passengers.