Boeing has delivered the first B747-8 Intercontinental passenger aircraft to Lufthansa.
The brand new aircraft marks the return of the original ‘jumbo jet’, which became the world’s first wide-body passenger aircraft when it was introduced into service in 1970. This latest incarnation of the B747 also breaks now ground, becoming the longest passenger aircraft in the world at 76.25 metres – 3.5 metres longer than the Airbus A380, and more than five metres longer than the B747-400.
The B747-8 is also more fuel-efficient than the old B747-400, offering double-digit improvements in terms of fuel burn and emissions over its predecessor, while generating 30% less noise.
“Lufthansa and Boeing have a long and proud history of working together to bring new innovations to the airline industry,” said Jim Albaugh, President & CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are grateful for Lufthansa’s inspiration and leadership in helping us design a new ‘Queen of the Skies’ for the 21st Century, and I’m proud of what Boeing employees have accomplished by bringing this great airplane to Lufthansa and the world.”
“After working together for many years, we are very pleased to have the newest generation of four-engine aircraft join our fleet,” said Christoph Franz, Chairman & CEO of Lufthansa.
Lufthansa employees will now prepare the aircraft for its first flight on 1 May.
The German carrier has purchased 20 of B747-8s, but despite this, sales of the aircraft haven’t been especially strong. Just 27 passenger versions of the B747-8 have been ordered by three airlines – Lufthansa, Korean Air and Nigeria-based Arik Air. A further nine have been ordered by VIP customers. The model is more popular with cargo airlines, which have ordered 70 B747-8 Freighters. By contrast the A380 has secured more than 250 orders.
The new B747-8 will seat approximately 380 passengers.