The upbeat prediction of Boeing chief salesman Scott Carson at the Paris Air Show in mid-June of a healthy number of orders for its 747 and 767 lines is coming to pass. The announcement of an order from UPS for eight 747-400 freighters follows on from a six -400 freighter order from Guggenheim Aviation Partners in July and has lifted the firm-order backlog for the 747 to 36. Every new order takes the manufacturer closer to bridging the production gap between the end of 747-400 output and the start of the 747 Advanced. Boeing hopes to get sufficient orders to launch the longer and more efficient version of the venerable 747 in September and enter production in 2008.
The 767, until recently under threat of extinction, has also been granted a reprieve, with Japan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, All Nippon Airlines and LAN Airlines all placing orders for a grand total of 17 767s in recent weeks. Boeing says any decision on closing the 767 production line will now be delayed. This is a boost for the aircraft, which until recently was struggling to attract new orders because many customers were opting for the 787 instead.