Currently, Boeing’s order book for the 747-8 is 106 aircraft, consisting of 70 -8F freighter variant and 36 -8I passenger variant.
Airline sales of the 747-8I have been weak and slow. Currently, only three customers have been secured, namely Lufthansa (20), Korean Air (5) and Arik Air (2). Boeing also has memorandums of understanding (MoUs) for 30 747-8Is. This includes Air China (5), Transaero (4) and undisclosed customers (21). The company is positive that these commitments will soon convert into firm orders.
Elizabeth Lund, Boeing 747 programme manager, is positive about the stretched Jumbo’s prospects. Lund said,
I think we'll see more sales in 2012. It will come in two versions: we hope to get confirmation of some of the MoUs that are not in our firm backlog and I believe we will see additional 747-8 sales as well. We are in active sales campaigns for the passenger variant. I would like to announce some orders this summer...
Lund said although there have been more orders for the freighter variant to date, orders for the passenger variant will pick up, and in the long term, the orders will be a 50/50 split between the freighter and passenger variant.
Boeing recently delivered the first 747-8I to Lufthansa, and the aircraft went into service on 1 June 2012. The next 747-8I airline delivery will be for Korean Air or Air China.