Who’s Ordered the 747-8?
The 747-8F started off strong with the first order for the aircraft coming in 2005, specifically on November the 15th from Cargolux who announced an order for 14 of the freighter variant.
Following Cargolux, Nippon Cargo Airlines ordered just 8 of the 747-8Fs on the exact same day, the 15th of November, 2005.
After this, the next order came on the 30th of May 2006 when 8 orders were placed for the 747-8I specifically from a VIP customer. These business jets were eventually put into service with various different operators. There is the Qatar 747-8I, the Brunei Government 748. Other VIP 747-8s have also moved around quite a lot with the likes of the Government of Turkey, The Morroco Government all having a 747-8 either now or at some point.
Following this Atlas Air placed an order for 10 747-8FS on the 11th of September, 2006.
After this Volga-Dnepr Airlines ordered 6 747-8FS on the 30th of November, 2006. This marked quite the strong start to the program with lots of interest for the freight variant.
Lufthansa was the first true passenger airline to put their faith in the aircraft with an order for 19 of the 747-8s. The order which has now been completed was placed on the 6th of December in 2006 once again.
It would be a year though before the aircraft would receive another order, but nevertheless, it was a major one from Cathay Pacific for the 747-8Fs. They ordered 14 of these for their cargo operations. The order was placed on the 8th of November, 2007.
Following this order, it was again 2 years before the next customer Korean Air came through. Korean Air is the only customer to have ordered the two variants. On the 7th of December 2009, they ordered 10 747-8i and 7 747-8Fs.
Air China was the next customer for the 747-8 with an order for 7 almost 3 years later on September the 11th, 2012.
Qatar Airways and Saudia Cargo had orders placed on the 27th of November, 2012. However, these were originally listed as unidentified customers.
On the 9th of July 2013, Silk Way Airlines become the latest customer for the 747-8F with orders for 5 of the aircraft.
UPS Airlines the largest operator of the aircraft placed an order on October the 27th, 2006 for the 747-8F. The airline ordered 14 Boeing 747-8FS with an option for a further 14. The order helped save the program and UPS further boosted the airline when they firmed their 14 options in February of 2018 bringing their total to 28.
Two 747-8s will also join up with the US Air Force and will be known as the Boeing VC-25 or Air Force One when the president of the United States is on board.
Finally, during the 2018 Farnborough Airshow Volga-Dnepr ordered a further 5 747-8Fs, however, these 747-8Fs will be operated by Air Bridge Cargo.