Cargolux SA, the Luxembourg-based world leading cargo carrier took delivery of its first Boeing 747-8F from Boeing Company at the Everett, Wa. facility on October 12th 2011. The hand over was only made possible after a tentative agreement was reached between Cargolux, Boeing and General Electric late last week. The dispute took center stage around September 17th 2011 when Cargolux announced that it was suspending the financing process for two Boeing 747-8F due to be delivered only a few days later on September 19th and 21st. This prompted the abrupt cancellation of the 3-day event Boeing had planned around its newest 747 delivery to launch customer.
Skepticism regarding the aircraft performance falling short of expectations was echoed on September 21st when Atlas Air Holding, another Boeing 747-8F customer decided to altogether forgo 3 aircraft due to be delivered in October and November 2011. Jim Proulx, a Boeing spokesman also acknowledged that some of the first aircraft leaving the assembly line would be overweight. In addition following last week’s tentative agreement involving Cargolux, General Electric has admitted that its Genx-2B engines suffered a 2.7% performance shortcoming. As a result 747-8F operators will be unable to extract the 15% improvement in fuel efficiency claimed by Boeing over the older 747-400F. General Electric has stated that its engine performance improvement kit for the under performing GEnx-2B engines will not be available until late 2013.
Atlas Air will only operate 9 of the 12 Boeing 747-8F it intended to acquire with 3 aircraft expected to be delivered in October and November, another 4 during 2012 and the final 2 aircraft in 2013.
Cargolux is now poised to receive its full complement of 13 aircraft ordered in 2005 and 2007.