Earlier this year, it was reported that Boeing had sold to an unidentified customer a B747-8 that was intended for Lufthansa initially but not taken up. The aircraft was parked up in the Mojave Desert, and while it had the airline’s colors, it never flew with Lufthansa. Well, now we know who the new owner is. Let’s investigate further.
In February 2021, Boeing released its orders figures, and there was a report of an unfilled order for the passenger variant of the B747-8. The order was attributed to an unidentified customer, but there were reports that the aircraft had a German registration D-ABYE.
With that registration, it was possible to find out that the B747-8 was initially intended to go to Lufthansa. However, the German airline did not take up the aircraft, so Boeing sent it to the Mojave Desert with the registration N828BA.
Built 10 years ago, 747-8i line 1435 has been taken out of storage and has a new registration: SU-EGY pic.twitter.com/BlTcM1lqDB
— Paine Airport (@mattcawby) September 8, 2021
Now, several media outlets report that N828BA will go to the Egyptian government. It has been re-registered as SU-EGY and spotted at Everett-Paine Field on September 8.
According to Scramble, SU-EGY could replace Egypt’s current presidential jet, which is an Airbus A340-200, registration SU-GGG.
Ch-aviation notes that this B747-8 is 10.39 years old. It had its first flight on April 26, 2011.
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The Boeing 747-8 operating commercial flights is becoming a rare bird out there. According to ch-aviation, there are just 37 aircraft of this model. Of this total, ten are currently stored, two under maintenance, and the remaining are active.
Air China has seven B747-8 aircraft (six actives). Meanwhile, Korean Air has ten, and only one is active at the moment. The remaining are either stored or under maintenance.
The German carrier Lufthansa has 19 B747-8, according to ch-aviation. Only one is stored, with registration D-ABYP. The remaining B747-8 is N828BA, which will go to the Egyptian government.
The 747-8 was a plane that arrived in the market a little bit too late. It couldn’t compete with smaller, more fuel-efficient twinjet aircraft such as the B787 Dreamliner.
The jumbo days are over. The Boeing 747 is now facing the decline phase in its amazing history.
For instance, Korean Air is expecting to retire its B747-8 passenger fleet by 2031. Let’s remember the airline also has seven freighters of this model.
Nevertheless, the model has a glimpse of hope in Lufthansa. As James Pearson reported, currently the B747-8 is the leading variant among the Queens of the Skies, mainly thanks to Lufthansa. The German carrier has used its 747-8 fleet regularly through the pandemic.
Lufthansa remains the world’s biggest user of the passenger Queen of the Skies. For instance, the airline plans to operate ten routes with the iconic B747-400s, starting n October 31. Meanwhile, Lufthansa is looking to fly to 16 destinations using its 19 Boeing 747-8s.
Finally, the longest route it will operate with this aircraft will be Frankfurt-Seoul (5,322 miles), and the shortest will be Frankfurt-Dubai (3,022 miles)-
Did you expect to see N828BA flying for the Egyptian government? Let us know in the comments.
Lead Journalist – South America – Daniel comes to Simple Flying with many years of aviation journalism experience, having worked with Mexican publication A21, Roads & Kingdoms, El Economista and more. His degree in journalism allows him to form beautifully crafted and insightful pieces. His specialist knowledge of Latin American airlines and close relationship with the likes of Aeromexico, Avianca, Volaris brings depth to our coverage in the region. Based in Mexico City, Mexico.