Airplane Went Quietly, Rather Than In A Grand Ceremony
From the "Better Late Than Never" department ... Boeing and
Cargolux Airlines have resolved their differences and completed
delivery of the first Boeing 747-8 Freighter. Following delivery at
the Boeing Delivery Center at the company's Everett site Wednesday,
the airplane departed for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport,
where the new freighter will receive its first cargo load, destined
for Cargolux headquarters in Luxembourg.
Boeing, Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines announced the initial
orders for the 747-8 Freighter in November 2005. Today's delivery
comes nearly 18 years after Cargolux was the recipient of the first
Boeing 747-400 Freighter, which went on to become the workhorse and
standard of the air cargo industry.
"This is a great day for The Boeing Company and for Cargolux,"
said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
"The 747-8 Freighter is truly the Queen of the Skies for the 21st
Century, and will continue the promise of the 747 for decades to
The company had gotten all set for a lavish celebration of the
first delivery last month, but those plans were abruptly cancelled
when Cargolux said there were unspecified "unresolved issues," and
asked for additional negotiations. The problems seemed to be tied
to the acquisition of a significant stake in Cargolux by Qatar
Airways, which has been waiting, not always patiently, for delivery
of its Dreamliners.
With the first 747-8 delivery now completed, Frank Reimen,
Cargolux president and CEO. said the airplane will be a perfect
addition to the Cargolux fleet. "The new Boeing 747-8 Freighter
will help Cargolux maintain its position as an industry leader that
we built upon our 747-400 Freighter operation. We look forward to
the efficiency and environmental benefits that come with this great
airplane," he said.
Cargolux has ordered a total of 13 747-8 freighters – its
10-airplane launch order in 2005 and a follow-on order for three
additional airplanes placed in 2007. "The new 747-8 Freighter
stands as a monument to the incredible team that designed and built
this airplane," said Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general
manager of the 747 program. "And it's a pleasure to deliver this
airplane to Cargolux, an airline that has long been dedicated to
Boeing and the 747 program."
Eight customers have ordered a total of 75 747-8 freighters.