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Boeing Launches New Stretch 747

After lots of speculation, Boeing announced that it will launch a new stretch version of its 747, called the 747-8 (formerly called the 747 Advanced, and formerly called Prince), that is about 12 feet longer than the current 747.  Though its launch customers are both cargo airlines, the new plane (which will debut in late 2009) will also be offered in a passenger version, with 34 additional seats compared to today’s 747-400.  Boeing has said that it believes the market for the larger A380 is too small to sustain long-term business for the plane.  Regardless, the A380 has had technical issues, so airlines may be drawn to a larger plane based on a proven platform.

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