Boeing’s 747-8 passenger jet won its first order of 2012 today when Air China announced it had secured an order for five of the four-engine aircraft.
Boeing and the Chinese carrier had previously announced Air China’s commitment for the planes, but not a signed order.
Air China 747-8
The new order advances total orders for the passenger version of the jumbo jet to 40. The 747-8 Freighter has been more popular than the passenger version of the plane. Boeing has a total of 70 orders for its freighters.
The Air China order puts Boeing one ahead of Airbus in the oversized jet category. Airbus, the European manufacturer, has scored four orders for its huge A380 this year.
Both the 747-8, the fourth-generation of the 747 and the A380 have sold more slowly than their manufacturers had hoped. Meanwhile, both Boeing and Airbus have seen good order activity for their mid-sized, twin-aisle jets, the 777 and 787 and the A330 and A350.
Nonetheless both manufacturers project sales of more than 1,000 of the ex-large jets over the next two decades. The 747-8 holds 465 passengers in a typical seating configuration. The double-deck A380 will accommodate 550.