Marco Cavazzoni says to mark his words: “We’ll deliver the first 747-400 Special Freighter on December 13. Cathay Pacific Airways will put it into revenue service within a couple of days.” Cavazzoni, who leads the 747 passenger-to-freighter conversion program for Boeing Commercial Aviation Services, added, “We’re told that such a firm date is unusual…customers will keep that date in their pocket.”
The General Electric GEnx turbofan is one of the two new engine families under development for the 787, but will be the sole option for the new 747, in a 66,500-pound-thrust version which is designated GEnx-2B67. It has the same core but a different fan and fan case.
As Airbus prepared to parade the A380 in Dubai, Boeing finally launched the Advanced 747 as a serious competitor. At a hastily called low-key unveiling in London last Tuesday, Alan Mulally, the president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, announced orders for 18 B747-8 Freighters worth $5 billion from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA). Orders for the new passenger version will follow next year, he confidently predicted.
Three years had passed since Boeing sold any passenger-carrying 747s when the company surprised the pundits last November by launching the 747-8 on the strength of a pair of orders from two cargo carriers.
Boeing believes that its latest 747 iteration–the 747-8F–could become the freighter of choice among cargo airlines. This assertion by commercial airplanes division president Alan Mulally is not surprising, given that the launch orders for 10 and six aircraft respectively from Cargolux and Nippon Cargo have now been backed by a Heads of Agreement for 10 aircraft from Emirates.
Boeing last month quietly booked a single order for a 747-8 “Intercontinental” jet– its first for a passenger 747 in several years and thought to be a VIP variant for Qatar Airways. Boeing believes it can sell 450 examples of the newly stretched 747-8.
Airbus A380 director of product marketing Richard Carcaillet hasn’t let go unanswered the potshots taken by his Boeing counterpart, Randy Baseler, whose Internet blog, Randy’s Journal, has clearly ruffled some feathers in Toulouse.
In the world of private aircraft in the bizliner category there are three subcategories–big, bigger and biggest. After several years in which the ripple of sales activity for bizliner manufacturers was only slightly more impressive than a ping-pong ball dropped into a glass of water, the market appears to be on the rebound. Just how good is the situation now? Think bowling ball and a bathtub.
Boeing Business Jets marked its 10th anniversary yesterday with a pair of single-aircraft orders for its now officially launched BBJ3, the latest member of its family of executive transports derived from the new Next Generation 737. Boeing did not reveal the identity of the customers.