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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Orders, New Deliveries

Anyone who reads this blog probably already knows most of the following news, because it's old news really. I just got back from a little globe trotting myself (Europe/South Korea), and I haven't been doing well updating the blog in a timely fashion while away.

First, some great news: five new orders for 747-8s. Three 747-8Fs for Cathay Pacific, and two extra 747-8Is for Air China. Of course, these were complex deals involving swapping 777F orders and returning old 747-400BCFs to Boeing for compensation. Read about the details here, thanks to David Harris at CargoFacts.com. New orders for 747s should be celebrated by fans of the plane right now, because they definitely aren't selling like hot cakes.

Speaking of 747-400BCFs: they aren't very appealing with fuel prices as high as they are, with the CEO of Cathay saying it's impossible to come close to recouping fuel costs for long haul routes (I can't find the article I read where he said exactly this, but similar quotes can be found here. These throw the older 747-400 passenger frames under the bus as well). Boeing however did place one old BCF with Evergreen on March 1st, so there must be some market for them. Line 739 N779BA, a 24 year old former Korean Air passenger frame converted to a freighter, is back in service, flying long haul too. This registration number caused me to erroneously announce that N797BA, the infamous line 1416 747-400ERF that still sits in the desert unused and unloved, was going to find a home. Alas, it has not. I don't know exactly what made N779BA so desirable at 24 years of age, other than the fact that she must have been dirt cheap and be a ways off from a heavy check. I don't even think they painted her, as she's seen here on delivery day in leftover Korean Air light blue, and she's been flying revenue flights ever since. I'm assuming this means her time in service probably won't be all that long. Line 1376, a former Jade Cargo bird (pictured here in new livery), was also supposed to deliver to Southern Air, but there must be some holdup because it hasn't happened yet.

Two new planes delivered recently, the first deliveries of 2013. The first was line 1420, the first 747-8 ever built or flown, to Cargolux (which I did a special post on below), and last night line 1470 (RC026) D-ABYG delivered to Lufthansa, their fifth 747-8I.

There was a bit of drama over an LCF at Boeing Field yesterday (thanks to Matt Cawby for the coverage).

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