Boeing bags second order for Intercontinental

Korean Air has agreed to buy five 747-8I passenger jets, in a deal that’s worth more than a billion dollars — but gives Boeing an invaluable second customer for the slow-selling jet.

Korean Air made the announcement this morning. The planes are set for delivery between 2013 and 2015. The deal has a list price of $1.5 billion, but it’s likely Boeing slashed a good 30 percent off the sticker price, making the actual cost more like $1 billion.

But the actual value of the deal isn’t so much in the five planes that Korean Air ordered, but rather that it solidifies Boeing’s only other order for the 747-8 passenger jet — a 25-plane deal with Lufthansa that was signed back in 2006. Airlines are hesitant to be the only buyers for a new jet, and there had been some speculation that Lufthansa could cancel the order, if Boeing failed to come up with a second buyer. 

Korean Air’s a good customer: The airline already had 10 787 Dreamliners on order, as well as 14 777s and four single-aisle 737s.

News of the sale came as Boeing announced that it had hit the 90-percent milestone toward the final design of the 747-8I, which has been dubbed the “Intercontinental” by Boeing. The Company reached that milestone about 10 days ahead of schedule, according to Boeing VP of marketing Randy Tinseth.

Meanwhile, the 747-8 freighter is set for a first flight in early 2010, the Company says. The cargo version of the Dash Eight has sold significantly better than the passenger model: Boeing has signed eight deals for a total of 78 747-8 cargo planes.

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  1. […] airlines that are still waiting for their oft-delayed 787s. (Hamilton believes Korean Air’s recent order for five Intercontinentals falls under this […]



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