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Boeing settles disputes, delivers first 747-8 freighter – Sacramento Living – Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee

October 12, 2011

SEATTLE — Boeing Co.’s first 747-8 was delivered without any fanfare Wednesday morning, more than three weeks after the original celebration of the milestone was planned.

Cargolux, the launch customer for the freighter version of the new 747-8 jumbo jet, announced Wednesday a final resolution of the contractual dispute between the carrier and Boeing.

Boeing said the plane left Everett for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where it was slated to pick up its first load of freight destined for Cargolux headquarters in Luxembourg. Cargolux’s second 747-8 will be delivered Thursday.

The dispute related to the performance of both the aircraft and the GE-designed engines, Cargolux said in a statement. The initial engines for the jet fall 2.7 percent short of the promised 15 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous version of the 747.

The first two 747-8s were originally due to be delivered last month. But the planned celebrations were canceled at the last minute as the cargo carrier negotiated increased compensation terms with both GE and Boeing.

The company said negotiations for better terms were led by Akbar al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, which owns 35 percent of Cargolux, as well as Cargolux Chief Executive Frank Reimen and the carrier’s chief financial officer, David Arendt.

“I am pleased that we have reached agreement on the contractual issues,” said Reimen in a statement. “The 747-8 freighter will be a driver of profitable growth for Cargolux.”

Boeing had no comment on how the dispute was resolved. A company statement quoted Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Jim Albaugh as saying, “The 747-8 Freighter is truly the Queen of the Skies for the 21st century, and will continue the promise of the 747 for decades to come.”

Cargolux has a total of 13 of the 747-8 freighter airplanes on firm order.

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