Boeing has lost one of its two leasing customers for the 747-8 family, following the decision by Guggenheim Aviation Partners (GAP) to cancel its remaining orders for the freighter variant due to the ongoing programme delays.
The US lessor, who originally ordered four 747-8Fs in August 2007, cancelled half its order a year ago and confirms that has now terminated the remainder of the contract.
"We were very disappointed and surprised that we were left with no alternative but to terminate our agreement to purchase the two 747-8Fs," GAP chief executive Steve Rimmer tells ATI and Flightglobal. "The cancellation was a direct result of the delays and the commercial and economic impact of those delays."
Rimmer says that the two aircraft had been placed with Korean Air, which also has orders directly with Boeing for five freighters and five of the passenger variant. The airline is expected to continue with the acquisition of the two GAP aircraft, via the airframer.
The cancellation reduces Boeing's order backlog for the freighter variant of the new 747 to 74 aircraft from seven customers, all but one of which is an airline. The remaining lessor is Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, which has 15 on order. Although some of this batch is earmarked for DAE's associate Emirates SkyCargo, the Dubai lessor last year cancelled a significant portion of its order book with Airbus and Boeing for other types, and the longer-term status of its 747-8F orders is unclear.