Computer-generated drawing of 747-8I in Arik Air livery. Courtesy, Boeing

Nigeria's Arik Air was revealed as the previously unidentified customer for two Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental aircraft. It joins Korean Air and Lufthansa as airlines with the passenger version of the 747-8 on firm order. The order is valued at $635 million at list prices.

Boeing has sold 36 747-8Is including nine for VIP customers. In addition, Air China earlier this year announced its intention to order five 747-8Is (ATW Daily News, March 9).

Lagos-based Arik carried just over 1 million passengers in the 2011 first half. It operates 120 flights daily. It said it plans to use the 747-8Is on "key long-haul routes." It currently operates A340-500 flights from Lagos to both London Heathrow and New York JFK. According to the carrier, it has traffic rights to Johannesburg, Houston, Paris and Beijing.