Boeing 747: British Airways is retiring its fleet of jumbo jets

“It is with wonderful unhappiness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with quick outcome,” British Airways, the world’s greatest operator of the 747-400, mentioned in a assertion Friday.

The after groundbreaking jumbo jet was one particular of the world’s most well-liked planes, but Boeing has not constructed a passenger variation given that it sent the very last 1 to Korean Airways in 2017. Airbus (EADSF) dropped its personal jumbo jet, the A380, final year, as airways moved away from supersized aircraft in favor of scaled-down, much more effective planes that melt away fewer fuel for every passenger.
With the coronavirus decimating need for traveling, the stress on airlines to help you save dollars has never ever been larger and numerous are slashing the dimensions of their fleets and scrapping older aircraft. Lufthansa (DLAKF), which is slicing 100 aircraft from its fleet, grounded all its A380s in March.
“It is not likely our superb ‘queen of the skies’ will at any time run commercial expert services for British Airways yet again because of to the downturn in vacation induced by the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic,” said British Airways, which is element of the IAG (ICAGY) aviation group.

At its peak, British Airways experienced a fleet of 57 747-400s, owning taken its initial shipping and delivery of the jet in 1989. It had initially planned to retire the very last plane in 2024.

“Even though the aircraft will generally have a particular area in our heart, as we head into the potential we will be running extra flights on present day, gas-efficient aircraft these types of as our new A350s and 787s, to assistance us obtain internet-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” the carrier mentioned.

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There are only 171 of the passenger versions of the 747 continue to in fleets close to the entire world, and only 27 of those are now in use, according to the Cirium Fleets database, a analysis organization that tracks business jets. With world air vacation not predicted to recuperate for several several years, several of those grounded planes may never return to provider.

Boeing shipped the 1st 747 passenger jets in December 1969. US cargo airline Atlas Air (AAWW) is now the most significant one operator of 747s, with a fleet of 39, according to CAPA Centre for Aviation in 2018.
The planemaker has continued to construct a freighter model of the 747, but at a really slow speed. And that output run could arrive to an end quickly. Boeing has just 12 remaining firm orders from UPS (UPS), and three orders for a Russian cargo provider which are no longer particular plenty of to be mentioned in its backlog.
The pandemic has prompted Boeing (BA) to slash prices and reduce 16,000 careers in the confront of the worst downturn the aerospace marketplace has at any time viewed.

— Chris Isidore, Robert North and Charles Riley contributed reporting.

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