Low-Cost Startup Avatar Airlines intends to order 30 Boeing 747-8s.

Boeing receives Letter of Intent for 30 747-8 passenger jets worth over $10 billion at list price.

Boeing 747-8
Lufthansa is the largest 747-8 customer Photo: Boeing

Boeing recently received a Letter of Intent from Avatar Airlines, an American low-cost airline for the purchase of 30 brand new 747-8 passenger version aircraft.

Avatar Airlines is a brand new low-cost startup airline which is planning to operate low-cost flights to major city pairs throughout the U.S. and Hawaii.

Avatar Airlines will begin its operation with 14 747-400s transitioning to the 747-8, considering it to be the ideal replacement for the 747-400s.

Although Boeing is fulfilling the orders of its 747-8F freighter version, it had received no new orders in 2019 for its passenger version.

This LOI could help benefit Boeing along with it’s shareholders, employees and the economy by keeping the 747s in production rather than shutting down in wake of lack of orders.

Boeing 747-8 orders
Air China is the only Chinese 747-8 operator Photo: Boeing

The Queen of Skies revival?

Haven’t we thought that Boeing 747’s production was ending, similar to that of Airbus A380.

Last year, it was reported that Triumph Aerostructures was planning to terminate operations citing lack of new promising orders.

However, Avatar Airlines recent order promises to save the legendary “Queen of the Skies” from extinction which otherwise seems to be inevitable.

“Boeing and Avatar can reinvent the 747 with its lowest cost per available seat mile into a gold standard for low-cost mass transportation bringing increased value to their shareholders and the public.” said Barry Michaels, Founder & CEO Avatar Airlines.

Boeing 747-8 orders
Qantas along with other airlines are retiring the 747 shortly.

This comes as a shock while many older operators of the 747s have decided to retire their aging fleet in favour of newer, more efficient twin-jets.

However, Avatar Airlines is fully committed to the Queen of skies. This could even save the 747 program. Avatar believes that the 747 is a revolution for the low-cost travel. 

Could it work for current situations?

As most of the low-cost airlines mainly operate the Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s in its fleet, flying 747s may also work in days to come.

The Boeing 747 typically operates long-haul flights in three class configuration. Avatar will become the first low-cost airline with complete fleet of 747s if everything goes as planned earlier.

Instead of configuring the aircraft with first class lounges, bars, Avatar plans to bring the 747 experience at new level.

Boeing 747-8
There would be no on board bar on Avatar’s 747-8 Photo: Boeing

Avatar Airlines is planning to configure with 539 economy seats on the lower deck along with 42 business seats on the upper deck. The airline will harness the comfort, power, speed and safety of the 747, enhancing the overall passenger experience that “low-cost” carriers simply lack these days.

Avatar’s economy class fares are expected to be around 50% cheaper than that of other carriers. Low fare would pit airlines against their competition very well.

Will it be favorable economically?

Though, low-cost airlines are popular and also doing great financially, none of them operate close to the number of seats that the 747 would be able to offer.

Today’s low-cost airlines operate aircraft that seats maximum of around 200 seats which are regularly filled which is around one third the Avatar 747-8 could accommodate.

The 747-8 is less fuel-efficient than other aircraft available for low-cost service. The 747-8 burns more fuel per seat than the A320s and the 737s. The 747-8’s fuel burn can be around 2.65L/100km to as high as 3.35L/100km. 

Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing 737 MAX is far more efficient than the 747-8

On contrary, the 737 MAX 8 burns fuel at a rate of around 2.04L/100km to 2.28L/100km. Thus if the airline could not fill majority of the seats, it might not work so well with the low-cost model.

However, Avatar seems confident in its strategy, though other carriers are retiring the quad jets.

Do you think the airline could fill the 747-8 to capacity making it successful? Let us know in the comments below:

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