Lufthansa's board yesterday approved orders for 20 747-8 Intercontinentals--the first of the variant to be sold by Boeing--plus 20 options and seven A340-600s, a total investment in long-haul planes valued at nearly $7 billion.
The order for the 747-8 passenger version may come as a surprise to some given the German involvement in the A380 program. However, many in Germany are incensed by the blame game that has resulted from A380 production problems and suggestions that all German A380 work will be transferred to France. LH, a longtime Boeing and McDonnell Douglas customer, traditionally has striven to split its airplane orders and signaled its continued support for Airbus with the A340-600 order. The airline, which said yesterday that it expects to take delivery of its first A380 in 2009, also is considered a leading contender to be the launch customer for the A350 XWB.
LH said the 20 747-8Is will be powered by GE GEnx-2B67 engines
Well, i for one, expected other airlines, such as British Airways or Cathay Pacific perhaps to order the B747-8I first, but Lufthansa become the first and seems it was a wise decision, considering it seems it will fit in nicely between the A340-600 and A380, in the eventual long-haul fleet.
All in all, i guess Boeing is happy with the first passenger orders for the B748. But i guess more are needed to make it worthwhile, as most orders to date have been for the cargo variant.