On April 6, 2012, Singapore Airlines will officially retire its fleet of Boeing 747-400 planes. Qantas is also cutting the amount of 747-400s it runs. But they are using A380s and Boeing 777s instead. So who is getting the new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jumbo?The answer is a VIP customer. At least they will take the first delivery, then other airlines, such as German carrier Lufthansa, will start taking orders of the new double-decker plane. After the massive fan fare surrounding Airbus’ A380 super jumbo, Boeing has found it difficult to draw much attention to the new 747-8 Intercontinental. There is still a lot to talk about though: it’s the longest plane in the world and the top deck is stretched further than the 747-400 model’s. Of course it’s a lot more fuel efficient and can carry more passengers.
With a VIP customer getting the first plane, it’s been even harder for Boeing to kick up any sort of stink. The customer hasn’t been named and the celebration ceremony was modest, to say the least, allegedly at the customer’s request. According to the SMH, “Boeing, which competes for orders with rival Airbus , has taken 36 orders [for the 747-8] – nine from non-airline customers – for the aircraft, which lists at $US332.9 million ($A309 million).”
From here the new first 747-8 will head off for custom fitting. Boeing signs off on all the modifications to be made to the cabin interior but at the end of the day it’s largely down to the purchaser what they do with it. Bedrooms, lounge rooms, cinemas, car spaces… it’s almost a completely blank canvas. And if you have $309 million to drop on a jumbo jet, it would be quite fair of you to want a very tailored flying solution in your life.
Image courtesy of: Airline Reporter