The Chart:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Air China Order Filled

Early this morning the final 747-8I for Air China, line 1518 RC072 B-2480, flew off on her delivery flight. Thus another 747-8I order is filled.

Via Woody
Now that Air China has all seven airframes (from an initial order of five and a top up of two), it sure would be nice if they decided they want a nice even number of 747-8s, like 10, or 20. At least they're all being used for passenger flight. Early on there were rumors anywhere from two to all of them would be for VIP only.

And on a related note, one of Air China's frames, line 1510 B-2479, is in Germany undergoing a VIP conversion. This plane has been flying in a passenger only config since delivery late last year, including long haul routes to New York and San Francisco, so I postulate this is some sort of swappable conversion, and she'll be able to be used as VIP when needed and a passenger plane the rest of the time. That's the smart way to do VIP.

23 comments:

  1. I paid attention. When the Chinese Premier visited South America recently, the ride was an Air China 747-400, not -8. Not sure if it's reserved / in VIP configuration.

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  2. What about Korean 747-8i? They plan LHR in august 2015, is that still on?

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  3. The delayed LHR to September 2015, and now have switched it to be FRA in September of 2015. It has been stated by Woodys Aeroimages twitter that their first frame is in stall 115 now, behind the EDC, getting its interior installed. She was rumored to have gone into the paint hangar as well, but I don't know if the full livery has been applied.

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  4. Looks like she is in full livery already!

    http://twitter.com/woody2190/status/613200726362226689/photo/1

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  5. I see from the latest update to the production sheet that LN 1519, Transaero #1, has gone into storage on the Tower Apron. What's the story there? Is this a short term issue with the customer not being ready, or is the order shaky given the economic climate in Russia?

    With the Air China order filled, that leaves 17 -8Is in the backlog. One of those is a BBJ for Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight, LN 1495, which has been in storage for over a year - again any ideas what the story is with that frame? Then there are 10 for Korean Air, of which two have already been built, a third is in final assembly, and a fourth soon to enter final assembly, with another three scheduled for assembly this year according to the production sheet. One Transaero frame is built and a second is in final assembly. All up, by the end of this year, that means of the 17 outstanding orders for the -8I, 10 will have been assembled (11 if LN 1435 goes to fill one of those orders).

    That leaves 3 Korean Air frames to be produced next year and beyond, along with the remaining two of Transaero's order, and two for Arik Air - assuming that will come to fruition. Then there are three aircraft expected for the VC-25 replacement. So as it stands with current and expected orders, after this year there will be 10 -8Is left to build, 9 if LN 1435 gets allocated to one of these customers. I really do hope there are more -8I orders somewhere to keep it in production longer.

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  6. UN was scheduled to take 2 of their frames late this year. To date, while they have confirmed that they were deferring delivery of the 380s, they had stated that they were still planning on taking up their 747-8is this year. The reality of the situation is somewhat less clear, as there have been rumors on some Russian aviation forums that they were going to push delivery back to 2016, but nothing official has been stated regarding that. My feel is that they are going to wait and see if the financing climate improves this year, and if it doesn't, they will work with Boeing to take them in 2016 instead.

    The good news is that the frame is only stored in what is a (relatively) short term storage area.

    I doubt 1435 goes anywhere other than to a BBJ customer, or perhaps to LH if they decide to order some more frames.

    I think we all hope that there will be more Intercontinental orders, however it is a pretty tough road that the frame needs to navigate to find some customers these days it seems. As long as the line is open, I think there will be a chance to sell some, at least over the next few of years.

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    1. I have a bad feeling about the UN frames. After the latest news about Aeroflot dumping a bunch of its new planes, I can't see how any Russian airline is in a position to take new jumbos.

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    2. There is a concern, for sure, however way back at the beginning of this year, they had a chance to defer with Boeing, just like they did with Airbus, and Boeing went out of their way to state that nothing was deferred or cancelled out of that meeting. Recently, in some social media, UN spokespeople have confirmed that their focus is on bringing on board the 747-8s and that the 380s are deferred for now.

      One other item to look at is that UN and Aeroflot have different routes and structure. For example, as recently as last fall, UN was still setting good increases in profit and revenue. This past May, they were still increasing traffic and maintaining load factor. I think with that in mind, any concerns are purely in terms of financing and the more macro environment with respect to the Russian economy, and not as big of an internal issue as it is with Aeroflot.

      http://www.transaero.ru/en/company/press-centre/news?year=2015&id=020615-press-en

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  7. LN1521 RC674 was rolled out from FAL straight to paint hangar. Blue rudder, it will be Silkway fram:
    https://twitter.com/woody2190/status/613571411014057984

    also LN1509 is back to factory:
    https://twitter.com/woody2190/status/613569614555910144

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  8. LN1509 gets her engines:
    https://twitter.com/woody2190/status/613906657739845632

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  9. perhaps a little off-topic, but check out the siberian tiger livery on Transaero Airlines 747-400 -- I wish they took it all the way to the tail

    http://rt.com/news/269590-transaero-siberian-tiger-boeing/

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  10. In other news, it may be that the June 4th unidentified order was for Atlas. In a fleet update today, they disclosed that they have ordered a new 747-8F for November delivery.

    http://www.virtual-strategy.com/2015/06/25/atlas-air-worldwide-provides-fleet-update#axzz3e6iZKT1j

    This obviously has to be one of the NTUs that are remaining. I would assume 1520, or if they wanted a really good deal, perhaps 1437. She has updated engines and avionics, she would just be a little more chubby than her newer sisters. :-)

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    1. Well, it seems that 1437 may be going to a customer! It's just some administrative data, but 747classic is reporting that she is now listed with a C1 TBD and Delivery TBD.

      It's possible that the Atlas order is new and that the unidentified order from June 4th is different, and in that case perhaps both 1437 and 1520 could end up being delivered this year.

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  11. A7-HJA painted:
    http://www.skyliner-aviation.de/viewphoto.main?LC=nav2&picid=9323

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  12. LN1521 painted in Silk Way livery:
    https://twitter.com/woody2190/status/616442813304037376

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  13. On the flightline:
    https://twitter.com/woody2190/status/616578751158054912

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  14. RC671 was ferried from KMZJ to KVCV, probably for painting. Will it become Atlas frame?
    http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BOE671/history/20150702/1730Z/KMZJ/KVCV

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  15. MattCawby says that SilkWay's LN1521 registration is VQ-BWY
    http://kpae.blogspot.com/2015/07/paine-field-july-3.html

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  16. LN1434 RC001 9K-GAA finished interior installation in Dallas:
    https://flic.kr/p/vxugoN

    LN1501 will be delivered to AirBridge Cargo:
    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/6430648/#71

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    1. I wonder if this means that the unidentified order for 1 frame back in June was for ABC then, or if this is part of the MoU that was revealed at the PAS a few weeks ago.

      I think this probably means that 1520 goes to Atlas, and that only 1502 needs to find a home still, out of the Asiana NTUs.

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  17. Another 747-8I BBJ emerged from hangar, this time Waco:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/jc7dgogstotrvg3/IMG_5300.JPG

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  18. Rumors abounding of PIA converting their 77W order from 2012 into 5 firm orders for the 747-8i. The 5 options from that order would remain 77W options however.

    Here is a tweet which is where I saw it first. There is a poster on anet that seems to be in direct contact with an executive or some other high level source.

    http://twitter.com/raisinganchor/status/619214983302389760

    This would be a boost for the -8i for sure if it comes to pass. I was speculating that perhaps PIA looked at their projections and realized they needed the extra space, either for straight capacity or for premium flexibility. It is also possible that they got around to looking at numbers from both LH and CA and realized they could fit it into their fleet.

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