Nigerian carrier Arik Air has signed a letter of intent covering three Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals which, if firmed, would make it only the second commercial airline to order the passenger variant.
Arik’s executives are in Seattle, taking delivery of two additional 737-700s. Last month the Lagos-based carrier said it was planning to discuss “issues of mutual interest” during the visit.
A Boeing spokesman says: “Arik Air chairman [Sir Joseph Arumemi-Johnson] and [Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO] Scott Carson signed a letter of intent for seven 737s and three 747-8Is today at a luncheon ceremony for the delivery of two new 737-700s to the airline.
“With this announcement, Arik Air has made public its plans to operate 17 [new] 737s, five 777s, seven 787s and three 747-8Is.”
He adds that the 737s will be either -800s or -900s, although this is yet to be decided.
The passenger version of the 747-8 has to date attracted only one announced commercial airline order, from Lufthansa which is buying 20 aircraft. Boeing has also sold seven 747-8s in a VIP layout.
Last month Boeing partly blamed Airbus A380 production delays for the sluggish sales performance, claiming they have caused airlines to postpone their 747 fleet renewals.
Boeing is forecasting around 85 aircraft sales for the 747-8I, 27 of which are already accounted for in sales to Lufthansa and Boeing Business Jet customers.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news