’s first freighter will be delivered to launch customer Cargolux today after a long-running wrangle over contractual terms concerning engine performance was finally resolved.
The aircraft is scheduled to depart from Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility with a stop en-route at Seattle-Tacoma airport to pick up its first cargo load. Announcing an end to the impasse that stalled delivery celebrations planned on Sept. 19, Boeing Commercial marketing vice president Randy Tinseth says, “I’m happy to announce that we’ve resolved the contractual issues that delayed the first delivery of our new 747-8 Freighter last month.”
Tinseth adds that Cargolux will take delivery of its second 747-8F on Thursday.
The hand over marks the resolution of issues that began early last month whenformally assumed a 35% shareholding in the cargo carrier and immediately asserted voting rights over the amount of compensation for a 2.7% shortfall in initial fuel burn. Although Cargolux had earlier agreed to terms for the long-delayed aircraft and its acknowledged fuel burn issue, the deal was thrown out at a board meeting on Sept. 16—just five days after Qatar’s shareholding was formally approved.
At stake was a claim for additional compensation for the performance shortfall below initial guarantees promised by Boeing and. The engine maker is currently developing a performance improvement package (PIP) for the -2B engine powering the freighter, but this is yet to be developed and tested and is not scheduled to enter service until the third quarter of 2013. The PIP will account for only 1.6% of the shortfall, leaving an additional 1.1% still to be recovered by a future package.
GE is building the first test engine to incorporate the PIP and plans to run it for the first time in January 2012.
On Oct. 1, Cargolux announced it had reached a tentative agreement with Boeing and said that details would be forthcoming following an Oct. 7 board meeting. But instead of providing details on Oct. 7, Cargolux said discussions with Boeing would continue over the weekend. The Cargolux negotiating team comprised Frank Reimen, the carrier’s president and CEO, Akbar al Baker, a board director and CEO of Qatar Airways, and David Arendt, Cargolux EVP and CFO.
Earlier today, Reimen said in a release: “I am pleased that we have reached agreement on the contractual issues. The 747-8 Freighter will be a driver of profitable growth for Cargolux.”