Minuscule demand for Boeing 747-8F

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One of Boeing's white tail 747-8Fs. This, and another that has been stored, was painted in the livery of the Seattle Seahawks. Boeing photo.

Jan. 25, 2016, © Leeham Co. Boeing’s decision to cut the production rate on the 747-8 is not a surprise. It’s only a surprise that it took officials so long to do so.

The company continues to cling to the hope of a recovery in the global air cargo market to sustain the program. This is unlikely, however.

The business case for the 747-8F is minuscule.


  • The metrics of the global freight market have simply changed too much.
  • Load factors for freight remain stuck below 45%.
  • Yields continue to be low.
  • Shifting trends from main deck freighters to using lower deck space on the big passenger airlines continues to grow.
  • Low fuel prices, temporary though they may be, diminish the new for new 747-8Fs.
  • Low capital cost 747-400 Passenger models stored in the desert or soon to be exiting the world’s fleet, along with stored 747-400Fs, provide ample opportunity for cheap freighters.

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