With passenger sales lagging for its 747-8 update of the venerable widebody, Boeing will start a new sales push this year that tries to distinguish the aircraft as belonging in a different class than the Airbus A380.
Re-engined with the General Electric GEnx-2B engines, the new airplane is to enter service first in a freighter configuration with Cargolux in late 2009, says Boeing VP Ross Bogue, general manager of the program. Boeing’s cargo sales have been strong — 79 sales to 13 airlines — but its 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version has only Lufthansa as a customer with 20 orders. Boeing also has sold five 747-8s in VIP configurations.
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