Arik conversion would further cut 747-8 backlog

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Boeing's backlog for the 747-8 looks set to further erode after Nigeria's Arik Air indicated it was working to convert its order for two of the type to the 777-300ER.

Speaking to Flightglobal Pro, the carrier's chief executive Michael Arumemi-Ikhide said it has decided to convert its two 747-8s into two 777-300ERs which will be delivered from 2016.

If confirmed, this will cut the backlog of the Intercontinental passenger variant of the 747-8 to 21 aircraft from just three customers – Lufthansa, Korean Air and Air China – and total outstanding -8 orders, including freighters, to just 49, based on Boeing's most recent order details.

Last month, Boeing announced it was cutting the jet's production rate to 1.5 aircraft per month. At current rates, production will end in around 33 months' time.

Boeing was not immediately available to comment.