Cargolux to order Boeing 747-Advanced, Airbus "Surprised"

Whale Rider

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Thursday, July 21, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

Cargolux first client for Boeing's new 747


By Bloomberg News

Luxembourg's Cargolux Airlines International yesterday said it is planning detailed talks to buy the 747 Advanced, a still-to-be-launched, updated version of Boeing's jumbo jet.
The decision by Cargolux might spur Boeing to move forward with launch plans for the new airplane, which would challenge Airbus' A380. Boeing's aircraft, which will borrow technology developed for its new 787 jet, will have 30 more seats and be able to carry 15 more tons of freight than the current 747.

Cargolux will discuss buying 10 747 Advanced aircraft for delivery starting in 2009, the company said yesterday. Europe's fourth-biggest freight carrier, Cargolux has a fleet of 13 Boeing 747s.

"We're very thrilled that Cargolux has identified the 747 Advanced as the successor to their current fleet of 747 freighters," Boeing spokeswoman Samantha Solomon said. "This is a strong and welcome endorsement of the capability that the 747 will bring to the market."

Airbus was "surprised" that Cargolux had chosen to enter exclusive negotiations for an aircraft that hasn't been approved for production and also disturbed that Airbus had no chance to make a final offer, Airbus senior salesman Chris Buckley said.

The 747-400 has a list price of $189 million to $227 million. An updated version of the plane would be similarly priced, spokeswoman Leslie Nichols said. The last order for a passenger-version 747 was in November 2002 from Taipei-based China Airlines. First delivery of the 747 Advanced would be around 2008 if Boeing's board approves building the jet.

Airbus' 555-seat A380 enters service next year and the freighter version is being readied for 2008. Customers for its A380 freighter so far include package-delivery companies United Parcel Service and FedEx.
 

JimNtexas

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"Airbus was "surprised" that Cargolux had chosen to enter exclusive negotiations for an aircraft that hasn't been approved for production"

Is the A350 "approved for production"?
 

Whale Rider

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JimNtexas said:
"Airbus was "surprised" that Cargolux had chosen to enter exclusive negotiations for an aircraft that hasn't been approved for production"

Is the A350 "approved for production"?
GOOD POINT!!!!:D
 

Whale Rider

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747Adv creeps closer to launch
Cargolux announcement sparks speculation that US manufacturer’s board is near to decision on stretched -400

Boeing’s efforts to launch the 747 Advanced – a stretched, re-engined, longer-range passenger and freighter variant of the 747-400 – appear to have taken a giant leap forward with an announcement by Cargolux that it intends to start negotiations for a minimum of 10 aircraft.

Boeing welcomed the statement from the Luxembourg-based cargo carrier last week, but declined to define it as a launch. In broad terms, the formal launch of the programme is still expected to be some time in September.

“We are thrilled that Cargolux has identified the 747Adv as the successor to its 747-400, but it doesn’t mean we are launching,” says Boeing, adding it remains hopeful of a firm go-ahead within months.

Cargolux says it chose the 747Advanced Freighter after a three-way evaluation that also included the Boeing 777F freighter and Airbus A380. The airline’s board authorised its managers to enter talks with Boeing after “a thorough analysis, during which we assessed which aircraft was best suited to our fleet renewal in the next decade”, says chief executive Uli Ogiermann.

The airline adds that it took the unusual step of going public with its intentions to prevent speculation about its fleet plans. Should Boeing decide not to go ahead with the 747Adv, then it would re-open its evaluation around the 777F and A380, says Cargolux.

Boeing is proposing two versions of the 747Adv, comprising a freighter, which Cargolux has selected, and a passenger version. Both incorporate slight fuselage stretches, as well as General Electric GEnx engines and wing improvements . Target entry into service for the 747Adv is March 2009.

Assuming a go-ahead decision this year on the 747Adv programme, GE plans to make the first test runs of the GEnx engine for the new model around February 2007, with evaluations on the company’s 747 flying testbed in the third quarter of that year, and type certification in April 2008. Other operators showing strong interest in the 747Adv include British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.

The chances for a successful launch of the 747Adv, the first stretched version of the aircraft, have grown considerably with the gradual restoration of the firm-order backlog for current 747 versions. This has reached 28, believed to be sufficient to bridge the production gap until the start of 747Adv manufacturing in 2008. The backlog consists of 15 -400Fs, nine -400ERFs and four -400 passenger models.
 

FearlessFreep

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It works like this - what is the "real" cost of the A-380? Has anyone seen all the construction that is going on in OMDB? It is phenomenal, all of it is to support the Airbus. I would not even venture a guess at what the costs of the A-380 infrastructure entail. When your buying an A-380 your not just buying an aircraft; your purchasing new airport terminals, additional double-decker jetways & cargo handling equipment, runway extensions, taxiway improvement, etc.

Cargolux is a relatively small company. I would doubt that adapting their infrastructure to accomodate the 747 Advanced would be much of a stretch if it required anything at all other than more area to park cargo containers/pallets. Simple math.

Good Luck To Us All!
 
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Tomct

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:D I think that they just wanted to stay with the "ORIGINAL" Big Dawg!

Good decision!
 

Godvek

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Why bring in a new type when you don't have to? Isn't Luxembourg one of the busiest 74 airports in the world?
 

Whale Rider

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Boeing 747 flying high with orders picking up

By Michael Oneal
Tribune staff reporter
Published August 18, 2005



For many observers of the intercontinental dogfight between Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Europe's Airbus SAS, it has long been taken for granted that Boeing's 747 is all but dead.

Apparently, nobody told United Parcel Service Inc.

On Wednesday, UPS gave the iconic humpbacked jumbo jet a new lease on life when it ordered eight cargo versions of the 747-400, worth about $1.8 billion at list prices.

That order, and a surprising streak of 13 others this year, may provide a crucial boost to the program at a time when Boeing is analyzing whether to invest in a new version of the 747 or let it die a natural death.

The company has said it will decide which way to go by the end of this year.

"This gives us a very good indication that we will be able to take a proposal to our board of directors," said a company spokesman.

"Judging by how the situation looks, they're probably going to go ahead [with a launch]," said aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia with the Teal Group near Washington, D.C.

It's easy to see why the outlook for the 747 has been so grim. Once hailed as the "Queen of the Skies," interest in the plane has been waning since 1996, when airlines ordered 60 of them. By 2003, Boeing got only four 747 orders. Last year it won 10.

The company hasn't sold a passenger version of the plane in several years and builds just one plane a month. Analysts have been predicting that the production rate eventually would wind down to nothing.

Soaring fuel costs and sagging traffic after the stock-market-bubble pop have driven airlines to Boeing's 777, which is 90 seats smaller than the 450-seat 747-400 but much more modern and efficient.

If customers want a bigger plane with better efficiencies, they can turn to Airbus for its A380, a 550-seat, double-decked behemoth that took its first test flight this year and will enter commercial service in 2006.

The sag in 747 business has been so pronounced that analysts widely have assumed that Boeing simply planned to cede the upper end of the market to the new Airbus plane, handing over a lucrative monopoly it had enjoyed since launching the 747 in the late 1960s. Airbus has collected 159 orders and commitments for the A380, including 10 from UPS. And Boeing has been focusing most of its energy and investment capital on a much smaller, single-aisle jet called the 787 Dreamliner.

But booming foreign trade over the last year, most of it between the U.S. and Asia, has lit a sudden fire under 747 demand. That has given Boeing another pleasant surprise in a year that has seen the company finally pull out of a nose dive that allowed Airbus to pass it in 2003 as the industry leader in orders and deliveries.

A spokesman for UPS said the issue isn't a competition between the A380 and the 747. The freight giant needs both airplanes to balance its mix and address specific markets, mostly in Asia.

Besides, he said, the 747 is available much sooner. UPS will take delivery of all its Boeing planes in 2007 and 2008 but won't be able to get its first A380 until 2009.

For Boeing, the spurt in demand may provide a crucial bridge between the old 747 and the proposed 747 Advanced, a new, more efficient version under consideration. If Boeing had to stop production of the old plane, it might prove prohibitively expensive to ramp up the assembly lines again for a new version.

This year's orders will give the company the luxury to decide whether to push ahead based on future demand alone. It already has one possible customer: Luxembourg's Cargolux Airlines International SAS recently said that it was negotiating to replace its fleet of 747 cargo planes with at least 10 cargo versions of the 747 Advanced.

Aboulafia suspects that Boeing's final decision will come down to whether the company thinks it can attract customers for both the passenger and cargo versions of the new 747. He believes it can. The A380, he said, is turning out to be heavier and less efficient than originally thought, meaning the 747 Advanced may be more competitive for customers interested in a smaller airplane.

"It's like Mystery Date," he said, comparing the Airbus plane with the old board game. "It could be a dud. It could be a stud."

Both companies will use a new breed of high-powered engine that is quieter and more fuel-efficient than those used on older jets. Boeing is telling airlines that the new engine would help the 747 Advanced save 6 percent on the expense of flying each passenger seat one mile, a common industry cost measure. The new engine also will comply with environmental standards at crucial airports like London's Heathrow.

Inside the plane, Boeing is responding to the challenge posed by the A380 by offering airlines the chance to extend the 747's hump back toward the tail. The so-called Sky Loft would allow for first-class facilities like bunks, cabins or lounges. Or it could be a place to locate galley equipment, making it possible to add more seats below.

Whether customers will respond to the new plane is an open question, but the old one clearly isn't done yet.

"Nobody would have guessed they would have had 21 747 orders in the first half of the year," said analyst Paul Nisbet with JSA Research.
 
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