Air China will take delivery of its first Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft next month.
The Beijing-based carrier has placed orders for seven of the new long-haul jets, and the first two are expected to arrive in October 2014. This will make Air China only the third passenger airline in the world, after Lufthansa and Korean Air, to operate the new B747.
Air China’s Boeing 747-8s are expected to be configured in a four-class cabin layout with more than 450 seats, making it larger than some Airbus A380s currently flying.
All seven new aircraft are expected to be delivered by June 2015.
The B747-8 Intercontinental is the successor to the popular B747-400 aircraft, but sales of the passenger version have been sluggish. To-date, Boeing has sold just 42 B747-8s to commercial passenger airlines, along with a further nine private jets.