The Boeing 747-8 has served its 100th airport just 16 months after entering service.
Boeing’s new stretched 747 model reached the milestone when a Boeing 747-8 Freighter operated by launch customer Cargolux arrived at Hanoi’s Nội Bài International Airport in Vietnam from Kuwait on Sunday, March 17.
“As the 747-8 launch customer, I want to congratulate the Boeing and Cargolux teams for their commitment and hard work that made this achievement possible,” said Richard Forson, Cargolux interim president and chief executive officer.
“We are proud to be the first airline to operate the 747-8F to the 100th airport worldwide that is able to accommodate this great aircraft on a commercial revenue flight,” Forson added. “After all, it’s a milestone for Boeing and Cargolux alike and a testament to the true pioneering spirit that has always characterized our two companies.”
Cargolux took delivery of the first Boeing 747-8 Freighter in October 2011 and placed it immediately into service from Seattle to its home base at Luxembourg’s Findel Airport.
Since then, the Boeing 747-8 fleet has supported revenue service operations at 100 airports on six continents and has been approved for more than 240 airports around the world.
This is a significantly larger number of airports than the Airbus A380, the 747-8’s main competitor, has received approval to operate to and from, according to Boeing.
Boeing says that to date the 747-8 fleet has achieved an average a dispatch reliability of approximately 98.4 per cent.
The milestone demonstrates that the newest member of the 747 family can operate safely within an airport environment, accounting for regulatory requirements, clearances, pavement loading and parking requirements, according to Boeing.
Boeing’s 747-8 family provides airlines with double-digit percentage improvements in fuel burn, operating costs and emissions over the earlier Boeing 747-400, while being 30 per cent quieter and adding more capacity.
To date 42 Boeing 747-8s, including 29 freighters, eight 747-8 Boeing Business Jets (BBJs) and five Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airliners have been delivered to a total of seven airline customers and several undisclosed BBJ customers.
Cargolux, whose IATA flight code is ‘CV’, operates an all-747 freighter fleet of two 747 Boeing Converted Freighters, eight 747-400Fs and seven 747-8Fs. The airline has another seven 747-8Fs on order.