Air China signed the deal at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2011 in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Hong Kong Airlines signed a memorandum...

Chinese carrier Air China has signed an agreement to order five Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners, becoming the first Chinese carrier to contract the passenger version of the new 747-8.

Air China signed the deal at the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2011 in Hong Kong on March 7, 2011.


Also at the show, Hong Kong Airlines signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) declaring its intention to expand its fleet with the purchase of 38 Boeing aircraft, including six 777 Freighters, 30 Boeing 787-9s and two 787-8 Intercontinental VIP aircraft.

At the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress 2011 in Hong Kong on March 7, 2011, Air China signed an agreement to buy five Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental jetliners

The order by Air China requires Chinese government approval. Boeing says that once this is given, it will post the order to its Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.

Boeing also says that it is working with Hong Kong Airlines to finalize the deals envisaged in the 38-aircraft MOU, at which time the manufacturer will post Hong Kong Airlines’ three orders to the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website.

“Air China has been operating 747s since the 1980s,” says He Li, vice president of Air China. “The new, high capacity Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental will deliver exceptional economics and a great flying experience to our customers.”

The flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, Air China will use the aircraft to expand its international routes.

“The technologically advanced 747-8 Intercontinental will deliver improved operating economics, efficiency and environmental performance in support of Air China’s continued growth,” says Marlin Dailey, vice president of Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Air China has become one of the fastest growing airlines in the world and today is one of the world’s largest carriers. We’re proud to be part of their success and look forward to continuing our long and enduring partnership.”

The 747-8 Intercontinental carries 467 passengers in a three-class configuration. The aircraft features a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck.

Its interior incorporates features from the 787 Dreamliner including a new curved, upswept architecture to give passengers a greater sense of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. The architecture will be accentuated by lighting technology that provides smooth transitions for a more restful flight, according to Boeing.

Using 787-technology General Electric GEnx-2B engines, the 747-8I will have 26 per cent more cargo volume than the 747-400.