Sun, May 06, 2012
Airliner Will Operate Type Without Restriction
Boeing’s new 747-8 is still just a tad overweight ... by several tons ... but that will not cause any restriction on its use by Lufthansa. Nico Buchholz, executive VP of group fleet management at the airline said "On all our in-service fleet, even those in our fleet 10 years, we are never happy with the weight situation, so we are always trying to reduce weight in order to save even more fuel, but the 747, we have planned it for certain missions, we will do those missions and we will do the missions as we planned them.” Buchholz was on hand at the Boeing plant north of Seattle to fly home in the first commercial 747-8 that it had taken delivery of last week. Lufthansa is the first airline to put the 747-8 Intercontinental in service; it is an upgraded and stretched version of the classic 747 with new technology engines from GE. The airline plans to use the aircraft on the Frankfurt to Washington D.C. route.
Buchholz added "Yes, it is a bit overweight, there's no secret about that, but is that impacting any of our operations? No. Certain things are better than Boeing promised. When I look at all the elements combined as an aircraft, that's when I say the aircraft does what we want it do and does it the way we want it to do."
Reuters reports that Boeing has not realized the orders for the new model that it hoped for since it went on sale six years ago, and is well behind Airbus' rival double-decker A380. As of Tuesday, it had only 36 orders for the passenger version, 20 of those from Lufthansa. The freighter version of the 747-8 has fared better, with 70 orders so far.
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