Air China has become the first Chinese customer to order the new 747-8 Intercontinental from US aircraft manufacturer Boeing.
The carrier has signed an agreement to purchase five of the passenger version of the new, fuel-efficient 747-8s.
However, the agreement requires Chinese government approval, at which time it will be posted to the Boeing orders and deliveries website.
“Air China has been operating 747s since the 1980s,” said 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.”
Air China, the flag carrier of the People’s Republic of China, will use the airplanes to expand its international routes.
Last week Japan Airlines confirmed it would decommission its existing fleet of Boeing 747s.
The new 747-8 Intercontinental carries 467 passengers in a three-class configuration. The airplane features a new wing design and an upgraded flight deck.
“The technologically advanced 747-8 Intercontinental will deliver improved operating economics, efficiency and environmental performance in support of Air China’s continued growth,” said Marlin Dailey, vice president of sales and 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 are proud to be part of their success and look forward to continuing our long and enduring partnership.”
Using 787-technology GEnx-2B engines, the airplane will be quieter, produce lower emissions and achieve better fuel economy than any competing jetliner.
It also increases cargo volume by 26 per cent.