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Arik Air Orders Two Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental’s

By on October 8, 2011

Arik Air Ltd. finalized Thursday an order to purchase two 747-8 Intercontinental airplanes from aerospace and defense giant Boeing Co.  for about $635 million at list prices. Boeing noted that the order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on its website.

“Air travel within the region continues to grow at a rapid pace and we must prepare our fleet to accommodate that growth. Boeing’s new 747-8 fits perfectly into our long-term planning. It brings the best operating economics for its size, which is important with the increase in fuel prices,” Arik Air chairman Sir JIA Arumemi-Johnson said in a statement.

Boeing noted that the airplane will be powered by using General Electric Co.’s (GE) GEnx-2B engines that will be quieter, produce lower emissions and achieve better fuel economy than any competing jetliner.

Arik Air is West Africa’s largest privately and wholly Nigerian owned commercial airline. The airline operates a domestic, regional and international flight network. It is also the national carrier of Sierra Leone.

Arik Air has the youngest fleet in West-Africa, operating a mixture of new Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier models. All its aircraft are maintained by its partners Lufthansa Technik and Iberia. The airline plans to use the 747-8 on its key long-haul routes.

Arik becomes the first airline in Africa to order Boeing’s newest and largest airplane. The 747-8 Intercontinental successfully completed its first flight in mid-March. Boeing is scheduled to make the first delivery to launch customer Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG .