SEATTLE May 1 The head of Deutsche Lufthansa
AG's fleet management said he is not happy with the
weight of Boeing Co's 747-8 jumbo, but that will not
restrict the use of the airline's newest aircraft.
"On all our in-service fleet, even those in our fleet 10
years, we are never happy with the weight situation, so we are
always trying to reduce weight in order to save even more fuel,"
said Nico Buchholz, executive vice president of group fleet
management at Lufthansa, speaking at a Boeing plant north of
"But the 747, we have planned it for certain missions, we
will do those missions and we will do the missions as we planned
them," said Buchholz, speaking to reporters as Lufthansa
prepared to fly away the first commercial 747-8 that it
officially took delivery of last week.
"Yes, we are satisfied, otherwise we wouldn't have signed
the acceptance of the aircraft," said Buchholz, one of the
world's most powerful airplane buyers.
The German flag carrier is the first commercial airline to
deploy the new 747-8 Intercontinental, an upgraded, elongated
version of the classic 747, and Boeing's biggest passenger
plane. Lufthansa will use the 747 on long-range,
intercontinental routes, putting the first one into service
between Frankfurt and Washington DC.
The plane is several tonnes heavier than Boeing's original
target, which generally increases fuel costs. The plane maker
said in February it plans to hit its original weight target by
"Yes, it is a bit overweight, there's no secret about that,
but is that impacting any of our operations? No.", Buchholz told
Reuters after a media conference. "Certain things are better
than Boeing promised. When I look at all the elements combined
as an aircraft, that's when I say the aircraft does what we want
it do and does it the way we want it to do."
Boeing has not pulled in the orders for the new 747 that it
hoped since putting it on sale six years ago, and is well behind
Airbus' rival double-decker A380.
As of Tuesday, it had only 36 orders for the passenger
version, 20 of those from Lufthansa. So far it has delivered two
passenger 747-8s to private buyers and one to Lufthansa.
The freighter version of the 747-8 has fared better, with 70
orders so far.