Home Asia Where to catch the Boeing 747-8

Where to catch the Boeing 747-8

by Matt Falcus

Boeing’s latest incarnation of the queen of the skies – the 747 – is now in operation with eight carriers and a number of private operators worldwide.

Featuring extended length, capacity, range, and a variety of technological advances both inside and out, the type is the height of aviation design.

It is available in passenger, cargo and VIP configurations; however, the cargo variant has proved far more popular, and more airlines are currently flying this option.

So where can you see the Boeing 747-8 in operation? Here are are the main airports:

Everett Paine Field
Boeing’s airfield to the north of Seattle where the Boeing 747-8 is built. You’ll see all aircraft flight testing here, and sitting on the flight line as they are fitted out. You can head to the Future of Flight center for its observation deck and watch the 747’s flying close by you.

London Stansted
Global Supply Systems flies three 747-8’s on behalf of British Airways Cargo to destinations worldwide. However, their home base is London Stansted airport in the UK.

Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok
Cathay Pacific ordered ten Boeing 747-8’s for its cargo network, and was one of the launch customers for the type. Their Hong Kong base is one of the busiest hubs for the type, as it also sees examples from other cargo airlines visit.

Frankfurt Main
Lufthansa is the only airline to operate the passenger version of the 747-8 so far (other airlines have the type on order), and their Frankfurt base is where it flies from. It operates to destinations such as Washington Dulles on a daily basis. In total, 20 747-8’s will join Lufthansa as they replace their older 747-400’s.

Cargolux was the first airline to take delivery of a Boeing 747-8. The airline ordered seven of the type, which are based at Luxembourg. However, they can be seen on their round-the-world network to many far flung airports.

Tokyo Narita
Nippon Cargo Airlines are based at Tokyo Narita Airport in Japan. They ordered 14 Boeing 747-8’s, and the type has already entered service on long haul cargo operations.

Abu Dhabi
The first VIP configured Boeing 747-8 was delivered to the Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight as a royal transport aircraft. It flies from Abu Dhabi on official business.



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Matt Falcus August 22, 2012 - 4:20 pm

A comment from Mark Williams:

Stansted is the best place to see them in the UK, not only for the Global Supply/B.A. examples you mentioned but the attractive Panalpina examples, leased from Atlas Air (N850GT and N851GT), are also regular visitors. Since the arrival of N851GT, I believe they visit three times a week now.

Tony Brown August 14, 2015 - 9:48 am

My girlfriend and I have just returned from a spotting weekend in Luxembourg, mainly to log as many of the Luxair and Cargolux fleet as possible. We stayed at the NH Hotel Luxembourg Airport (which may be where the Sheraton once was). We had asked for an airport facing view when we booked on-line and also mentioned this on checking in. We were duly allocated room 425 on the top floor. On entering the room we found that the view overlooked a portion of the Cargolux ramp and the taxiway to the cargo apron which was just as we requested (rooms 426, 427 and 428 may have comparable, if slightly better, views). However the view from these particular rooms do not extend back to the airport terminal building as the layout of the hotel means that particular part of the runway and ramp is obscured so, if the arrivals are from that direction, you will not see them (unless they are cargo which will taxi past). The room was comfortable and entirely adequate for what we required (and the windows also opened so you don’t have to shoot through glass). The hotel also has a decent restaurant and bar. Should you not be lucky enough to obtain a room with a runway/cargo apron view simply go up to the fourth (top) floor and follow the signs from the lift to ‘The Cockpit’ which is the hotel’s gym, from here you have a view of the Cargolux ramp and a view back towards the terminal building and a couple of the stands. The hotel is only a couple of minutes walk from the terminal building which has a landside café on the first floor that has great views over the runway and ramp.

Matt Falcus August 16, 2015 - 1:17 pm

Thanks for your detailed information Tony. That’s really useful! Glad you found some good views in Luxembourg!


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