The second customer of the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8 took delivery of their first aircraft.
That carrier is Air China.
This aircraft represents the first of seven that will join the Air China fleet for use on their long haul network. This also represents the first operator in Asia to use the passenger version of the Boeing 747-8I.
Air China are planning to use the aircraft on domestic routes initially before rolling it out the aircraft on the Beijing to Frankfurt route, with plans to use on the CA931/932 flight pair.
Air China will operate a 12 time a week service, using a mixture of a Boeing 747-8I on a daily service, and a Boeing 777-300ER five times a week (excluding Tuesday and Thursday).
The Boeing 747-8 – whilst has been a reasonable seller for Boeing as a freighter aircraft, the passenger aircraft has been less than stellar to sell, with airlines preferring to use the “more efficient twinjets” such as the Boeing 777-300ER and A330-300
Main users of the Boeing 747-8I include Lufthansa being the primary customer, Air China being the second. Other carriers who have orders for 747-8Is include Korean Air, Arik Air and Transaero airlines.
Whilst it is good to see another operator take on the new version of the Boeing 747-8, I can’t help but feel that as the industry has moved onto the efficient twin-engined aircraft (as opposed to the four engined aircraft), we will see less and less Boeing 747s in the sky.