Boeing has reportedly sold a passenger 747-8 parked up in the Mojave desert. The aircraft was due to go to Lufthansa, being painted in the airline’s colors. However, the aircraft never ended up with the German flag carrier.
For quite some time now, orders for the Boeing 747-8 have been rare. However, despite the manufacturer pulling the plug on the Queen of the Skies’ production, a couple of last-minute orders continue to trickle through. In January, Altas Air placed an order for the last 747-8s to roll off the production line. Now an unnamed customer has laid claim to a previously built aircraft.
Passenger Boeing 747-8 sold
This week Boeing released its order figures for February. Generally, most were as expected, and we saw that the planemaker had posted its first month of net-increase in orders since November 2019. However, there was one thing in particular that stood out. The manufacturer reported an unfilled order for the passenger variant of the 747-8.
The order is attributed to an unidentified customer in an unnamed country. However, while we don’t know where the aircraft is going, we have clues about where it once came from. The publication Scramble suggests that the aircraft sold is line number 1435.
According to data from Planespotters.net, this aircraft was due to go to Lufthansa as D-ABYE. However, Lufthansa did not take up the aircraft. Instead, Boeing gave it the test registration of N6067U before it became N828BA.
The aircraft, now ten years old, is currently sitting at Victorville in the Mojave desert. According to Scramble, Boeing asked Lufthansa if it could keep the plane and reduce the German flag carrier’s order accordingly.
It would make sense for this aircraft to be the one that has been sold. For starters, Boeing already stopped making passenger 747-8s. With only three airlines taking the type, the pool of potential aircraft is tiny. While Boeing was unable to tell us which aircraft had been sold, a spokesperson confirmed to Simple Flying that this was a previously built aircraft.
The end of an era
Sadly, the end of the Boeing 747 era is slowly coming around, especially as far as passenger aircraft are concerned. Due to the current situation, many airlines have retired their older 747-400 fleets.
Sadly the 747-8 was already behind its time when it was released, with only three airlines even taking the plane. Instead, smaller, more fuel-efficient twin jet aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are now preferred. However, there is still a considerable market for freighter 747s, and given that some are still yet to be built, it will likely be many years before the final ever Boeing 747 flight.
What do you make of Boeing’s 747-8 sale? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.