VIP customer, likely Qatar, takes delivery of Boeing’s first 747-8 Intercontinental

MUKILTEO — The Boeing Co. handed over the first 747-8 passenger plane to an undisclosed VIP customer on Tuesday.

“It’s been a long journey. It has been a great journey,” Elizabeth Lund, general manager of Boeing’s 747 program, said during a press conference Tuesday at the Future of Flight Aviation Center.

Though Boeing didn’t disclose the buyer, “several of our VIPs are from the Middle East region,” Lund said. And most are heads of state. “That seems to be a good fit,” she said. The airplane’s registration number, A7-HHE, can be traced to Qatar Amiri Flight, a VIP carrier owned by the government of Qatar.

The first 747-8 passenger plane that the average person, not a VIP, could fly on will be delivered soon to Lufthansa of Germany. The delivery date will be set in the next few weeks, Lund said.

Although it is the first 747-8 passenger plane, dubbed the Intercontinental, to be delivered, this particular jet won’t enter service until 2014 because it will take two years for an elaborate customized interior to be installed.

The 747-8 took off a little after 1 p.m. from Everett’s Paine Field, adjacent to the flight center, headed for Wichita, Kan. It was being flown by Capt. Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets.

Workers at Boeing’s defense site in Wichita will install an aeroloft, which will sleep eight crew members, at the back of the aircraft, above the main cabin. That will give the aircraft extra room, bringing the jet’s total cabin space to 5,179 square feet.

The VIP 747-8 then will be flown to Hamburg, Germany, where the rest of the interior will be installed over the next two years. Although Boeing didn’t give specifics, most 747 VIP jets aren’t configured to seat more than 100 people. The rest of the cabin space is devoted to private lounges, conference rooms, bedrooms and dining areas.

Boeing has orders for 36 747-8 passenger planes. Lund is optimistic that once the updated jumbo jet enters commercial service, more orders will follow. The company says this latest version of the 747, while larger, is quieter and burns less fuel than predecessors.

“The 747 is fast, efficient and quiet, offering real savings and a great flying experience,” Jim Albaugh, Boeing’s president of commercial airplanes, said in a statement. “And I believe it’s one of the most beautiful airplanes in the sky.”

Michelle Dunlop: 425-339-3453;

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read