The Government of Qatar maybe the first customer for the new passenger version of the Boeing 747-8I (Intercontinental). The rumor is that the aircraft will be configured in a VIP configuration.
In fact, Boeing did not even make an announcement. It simply added the order for the one plane to information about jetliner orders and deliveries that can be found on its public Web site. And even then, the information was not easy to spot.
The customer for the plane does not want to be identified, a Boeing spokesman said Thursday when asked about the order.
A company insider who asked not to be quoted by name said only a small number of people within Boeing know who the customer is.
It is the first 747 passenger plane of any type that Boeing has sold in several years. Customers have been buying only freighters. The 747-8 will be a bigger and more efficient version of the jumbo jet. It is being developed as both a freighter and a passenger plane.
Boeing launched development of the 747-8 program last year, with orders for the freighter. Luxembourg’s Cargolux has ordered 10 freighters, and Nippon Cargo Airlines ordered eight.
But until now, Boeing had not had a single order for the 747-8 passenger plane, which will be called the Intercontinental.
The customer will supposedly be announced at the Farnborough Airshow.
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