Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has unveiled its new 747-8 Intercontinental, a new high-capacity passenger airplane designed to offer airlines lower operating costs.
Approximately 10,000 guests, including customers, Boeing employees, government officials, partners and suppliers, gathered in the factory in Everett, Washington for the event.
Boeing commercial airplanes president Jim Albaugh was on hand to detail the newest 747, which, he argued, incorporates technological advancements that make it an extremely productive airplane for customers.
“The new 747-8 Intercontinental features the latest in innovative technologies — applying many of the breakthroughs also found on the 787 Dreamliner,” said Albaugh.
“We think our customers will value the low operating costs and passengers will enjoy the comfort of the striking new interior.”
The Dreamliner project is also expected to launch in 2011, following almost three years of delays.
The 747-8 Intercontinental will have the lowest seat-mile cost of any large commercial jetliner, with 12 per cent lower costs than its predecessor, the 747-400, said Boeing.
The airplane provides 16 per cent better fuel economy, 16 per cent less carbon emissions per passenger and generates a 30 per cent smaller noise footprint than the 747-400.
The 747-8 Intercontinental applies interior features from the 787 Dreamliner that includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings.
Customers, including Korean Air, have joined launch customer Lufthansa in ordering a total of 33 747-8 Intercontinentals.
First delivery of the 747-8 Intercontinental is scheduled for the fourth quarter.
“The 747-8 Intercontinental will be a great complement to our fleet, fitting nicely into the 400-seat category, improving our fleet’s eco-efficiency even further,” said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president, Lufthansa Group Fleet Management.
“As launch customer, we are looking forward to welcoming this new aircraft to our fleet next year as it adds to our ongoing fleet modernization and environmental efforts.”