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Originally published Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 10:13 AM

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Air China firms up order for five 747-8s

Boeing books an order that Air China had announced last year, after the airline finally received its government's approval.

Seattle Times aerospace reporter

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Boeing's weekly update to its jet sales Web site on Thursday included an order from Air China for five of Boeing's largest jet, the passenger version of the new 747-8.

Air China originally announced this order for the jumbo jet in March last year, but the sale was not firm until the Chinese government formally approved it. That step was finally taken this week.

The order is worth $1.8 billion at list prices. However, according to market pricing data provided by aircraft valuation firm Avitas, the estimated purchase price after typical discounts is about $840 million.

Orders for the new jumbo jet have been sluggish. This is the first confirmed sale added to the order book since July 2011.

It brings the total firm order tally to 111 jets, of which 32 are passenger jets, 70 are freighters, and nine are VIP private jets going to, among others, the royal families of Abu Dhabi (two), Qatar (two) and Saudi Arabia.

In addition Boeing has committments, though not yet firm orders, for a further 19 of the passenger models.

Russian airline Transaero has agreed to take four and the remaining 15 commitments are from unidentified customers.

Dominic Gates: (206) 464-2963 or dgates@seattletimes.com

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