Having anticipated final approval of the purchase of the first two 747-8 freighters at its 7 October board meeting, Cargolux said it had made "progressin the negotiations over contractual issues", but had not yet reached a final agreement with Boeing on delivering the new aircraft.

The European cargo carrier had said on 1 October it had reached a "tentative agreement" with Boeing, which would have cleared the way for a final delivery on 12 October, pending the 7 October approval by the company's board of directors.

But Cargolux said firming of the order has yet to be achieved.

"Cargolux announced today that Management informed its Board of Directors of progress achieved in the negotiations over contractual issues in respect of the delivery of the first two Boeing 747-8 Freighters initially scheduled for 19 and 21 September 2011," said Martine Scheuren, head of corporate communications for Cargolux.

"Discussions over these issues will continue over the weekend. The company will provide an update as soon as an agreement has been reached," she added.

Boeing says it continues to work with Cargolux on resolving the contractual dispute and "looks forward to delivering its airplanes."

Cargolux abruptly rejected the first two GEnx-2B-powered 747-8F deliveries on 16 September citing the performance of the new freighters and pointed to a contractual dispute between itself, Boeing and engine-maker General Electric.

GE acknowledged a 2.7% shortfall in engine fuel performance, which was believed to be at the heart of the dispute. The engine-maker plans a performance improvement package for the -2B powerplant, expected to regain a portion of that lost performance in late 2013.

Cargolux, an all 747 freighter operator, holds 13 -8F aircraft on order.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news