Cargolux closer to 747-8 delivery


 Christian Aschman/Cargolux

Logistics: Boeing’s largest ever plane will be certified for cargo service by the US Federal Aviation Administration shortly, Bloomberg News reported.

Boeing is expected to announce approval for its 747-8 jumbo jet on Friday, according to two unnamed sources quoted by the wire service. The FAA is not expected to approve the 747-8 for passenger use until 2012.

Launch customer Cargolux has firm orders for 13 of the freighters and options to purchase 12 more, the Luxembourg carrier told the press earlier this year.

When the aircraft manufacturer sent a 747-8 on its first test flight to the Grand Duchy this past June, Cargolux chief Frank Reiman said in a press statement: “the new Boeing aircraft is our future.” Citing its greater capacity and fuel efficiency, he stated: “it is a vehicle to secure our sustainability and profitability for the next decade.

At the time, Cargolux expected its first 747-8F to be delivered “in late summer 2011.” The carrier was originally set to receive the first plane in 2009, but design problems pushed back the delivery date by two years. Bloomberg said some of the delay surrounding the 747-8 was caused by Boeing transferring engineers to work on the 787 Dreamliner, which is three years behind its launch schedule.

UPDATE: Friday afternoon a spokeswoman for Cargolux confirmed Boeing received certification for the jet to enter service. “We expect the delivery of the first aircraft in early September, but have not received a firm date yet,” she told Delano.lu.

UPDATE: Monday morning a source at Cargolux confirmed the company would also receive its second 747-8 jet in September.