Boeing and UPS announced an order for 14 747-8 Freighters. The agreement also includes an option to purchase an additional 14 of the cargo airplanes. This order is a very crucial win for Boeing. The company has been saying the 747-8 is not dead yet. But the dearth of orders sort of made that look like wishful thinking. This order has the ability to change the view on the program. Especially when you consider the 14 options.
This what the widebody UPS fleet looks like as of 2Q16. They 162 aircraft in this category. Their 13 747s average 18 years, which is not especially old. The 38 MD-11s average 22 years and are likely to be replaced first.
Today’s order is equivalent to 13% of all 747-8s in service. So it is a big deal, regardless of the price. There were 62 747-8Fs in service as of 2Q16 – so this order is equal to 23% of the market. Truly this is a big win for the program and Boeing.