EVERETT, Wash. ( TheStreet) -- Boeing ( BA) made a deal to sell five 747-8 jets to Air China, which becomes the first Chinese customer for the new aircraft. Additionally, Hong Kong Airlines, parent of China's fourth-biggest airline Hainan Airlines, said it would buy 32 787s and six 777 freighters. The deals were announced at the Hong Kong Air Show.
Air China, flag carrier of the People's Republic of China, will use the airplanes to expand its international routes. "Air China has been operating 747s since the 1980s," said He Li, vice president of Air China, in a prepared statement. The deal requires Chinese government approval. The 747-8 will carry 467 passengers in a three-class configuration. It includes a new wing design, an upgraded flight deck and roomy interior features from the 787. Lufthansa, the first 747-8 customer, is scheduled to take delivery in the fourth quarter. The first 747 flight was operated by Pan Am in 1970. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed