The 1,500th Boeing 747 (70th 747-8) sitting on the flight line at Paine Field
The 747 Jumbo Jet is an iconic aircraft. For years, it was the only double-deck commercial airlinerÂ and for many it is a favorite. From its first flight in 1969, the 747 has changed quite a bit. The newest iteration, the 747-8, might sport a similar shapeÂ to the original 747 or the 747-400, but it is quite a different beast (more than just LED lighting). This past weekend, the 1,500th 747 was delivered to Lufthansa Airlines. About a week earlier, Boeing took theÂ opportunity to talk about their largest commercial airliner and its future relevance.
LN1500 lining up for take off – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
I was invited to Boeing’s factory in Everett to sit down with Eric Lindblad, vice president and general manager of the 747 program, and we had a down-to-earth conversation about where the 747 has been, where it is today, and where Boeing is hoping it is going.
The big message that LindbladÂ wanted to get across is, “this is not your mother’s 747.” Not only is the 747-8I a very different aircraft than the 747-400, but the 70thÂ 747-8 is much more efficient than the first one, and they plan to keep making it more efficient.
Two U.S. pilots stepping off the first 787-9 at Boeing Field – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
With the Emirates Milan saga, where US & Italian airlines are backing a play to force the Gulf carrier off the Fifth FreedomÂ New York route, it led me to look into similar instances that have happened over the last few months that perhaps lead to a deeper situation.
It seems that US-based airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) are trying their hand at stopping outsider airlines from getting to the United StatesÂ rather than just expanding themselves.
Let’s take a closer look.
An Emirates Boeing 777-300ERÂ – Photo: Emirates
In October of 2013, Emirates Airline became the first “FifthÂ Freedom” carrier to fly between New York City and Milan in Italy. Â This allowed a stop between New York and Dubai in the Italian city would help to increase services between not only Italy and Dubai, but also the United States and Italy.
Unfortunately, that service has barely been in operation seven months, and Emirates has come under fire from competing airlines, leading to the possible cancellation of the route.
Emirate Airline’s Network Control at DXB. Image: Jason Rabinowitz.
Dubai International AirportÂ (DXB)Â is a hugely complex, massive, 24-hour machine. Airplanes land, passengers are exchanged, and airplanes takeoff. What goes on behind the scenes to make this seemingly simple task work, however, is anything but simple. Earlier this year, National Geographic UK took their cameras into the depths of Dubai’s airport, giving the public a rare look at operations at the home airport of Emirates.
BONUS:Â Photo Tour of Emirates Airline Crew Training in Dubai
The show aired several months ago in various regions, but never made it to the Americas. What the channel guide hides from us, YouTube reveals – all ten episodes are now streaming in HD for anyone to watch. The first episode of the show starts off quite nicely, focusing on the difficulty of getting passengers with short connections across the gigantic terminal, routine mechanical difficulties, and a scramble to finish up construction of a new wing of the terminal.