Joined: 24 Dec 2006
|Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:07 am Post subject: Emirates, Boeing continue to tinker with 747-8I
|by Geoffrey Thomas
Monday January 29, 2007
Emirates and Boeing are working to try and reduce the weight of the 747-8 Intercontinental so the airline can operate Dubai-Los Angeles with 400 passengers (a 50-ton payload) year round.
"We need another 500 miles and we are not there yet," EK President Tim Clark said, indicating he wants more capacity than is available aboard the 777-200LR. "We think we can fill 400 seats a day."
Clark said Boeing is seeing the airline next month to brief it on progress and he hopes to convince the manufacturer to build the original, lighter 3.6-m. stretch for EK, which wants 20 aircraft, rather than the 5.6-m. stretch sold to Lufthansa (ATWOnline, Dec. 7, 2006). He said the smaller stretch also would suit Emirates' network to Asia.
In the original configuration offered to airlines, the 747-8I had seating for 450 in Boeing's standard three-class configuration with a range of 8,000 nm., later increased to 8,300 nm. after wind tunnel tests. That gain was traded for 17 more passengers in an additional stretch of 2 m. that matched the length of the freighter (ATWOnline, Oct. 31, 2006).
Boeing expects that two-thirds of 747-8 sales will be for the passenger model. However, Clark is buoyed by the performance of the 777-300ER wing, from which the 747-8I has been modeled. "Certainly if we picked up the fuel burn performance on the 747-8 that the 777-300ER has delivered, that would help a great deal," he said.
Separately he denied that Emirates has ordered 12 more 777-300ERs and said the media misunderstood Vice Chairman Maurice Flanagan last week. Clark said Flanagan "was referring to the number of deliveries the airline was getting this year, not a new order."