Which Airlines Operate The Boeing 747-8?

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The Boeing 747, also known as the Queen of the skies, is an aviation icon. The aircraft with two passenger decks is instantly recognizable thanks to its hump at the front. However, in the latest quarter Boeing delivered just one Boeing 747.

Boeing 747-8, Lufthansa, Air China, Korean Air
Lufthansa placed the largest Boeing 747-8 order. Photo: Lufthansa

The Boeing 747 is idolized around the world. However, as the industry trends towards two-engine aircraft, orders for the Queen of the skies have slowed. Boeing’s latest iteration of the Boeing 747 is the 747-8. However, only three passenger airlines actually ordered the type. Let’s take a look at those airlines!

Air China

Air China has the smallest Boeing 747-8 fleet out of the trio. The Chinese airline placed two separate orders for the type giving it a total of seven Airlines. The airline’s first order was for five of the aircraft placed on the 6th of September 2012. However, the airline went on to order an additional two of the aircraft type. This additional order was placed just over a year later on the 21st of December 2013.

Boeing 747-8, Lufthansa, Air China, Korean Air
Air China placed two separate Boeing 747-8 orders. Photo: Boeing

Korean Air

Along with Air China, Korean air also placed two separate Boeing 747-8 orders with Boeing. Korean Air’s fleet of these aircraft is slightly larger than Air China’s. However, their original order was for the same number.

Korean Air placed the first of their orders for the type on the 7th of December 2009. This order was for five of the aircraft, similar to Air China’s original order. Following this, Korean Air ordered an additional five Boeing 747-8s on the 24th of October 2013.

Boeing 747-8, Lufthansa, Air China, Korean Air
Korean Air ordered a total of 10 Boeing 747-8 aircraft. Photo: tjdarmstadt via Wikimedia

Lufthansa

Lufthansa is the largest airline operator of the Boeing 747-8. The German flag carrier ordered all of its aircraft before Air China and Korean Air placed their first orders respectively.

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Lufthansa’s order was for a total of 19 aircraft. This was placed on the 6th of December 2006.

Boeing 747-8, Lufthansa, Air China, Korean Air
The Boeing 747-8 is more efficient than previous generations. Photo: Lufthansa

Why hasn’t the 747-8 been a hit?

The Boeing 747-8 hasn’t been as huge of a hit as previous generations of the aircraft. In fact, excluding freight, private use, and undisclosed orders, only 36 of the aircraft have been sold with Boeing delivering just 5 aircraft in 2019 up until the end of September.

But why hasn’t the Boeing 747-8 been a hit? It’s all to do with fuel efficiency. Despite the 747-8 being more efficient than previous generations, four engines can’t beat two in terms of efficiency. This is why some airlines are looking to replace their four-engined aircraft with newer, more fuel-efficient dual-engine replacements.

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Have you flown on the Boeing 747-8? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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