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British Airways retires 747 fleet

Aviation Updates Philippines – As reported by international aviation media outlets, British Airways has confirmed it will drop the Boeing 747-400 fleet due to the severe impact of COVID-19 on its flight operations.

Saying that the 747’s future is uncertain, an internal letter for British Airways employees revealed the airline’s proposal to “immediately retire” the 28-strong fleet. The 747, dubbed as the Queen of the Skies, has now become unsustainable for the airline’s future operations.

According to news website Airway1, the speculations on the retirement of the 747 has been avoided by the airline. However, Thursday’s internal memorandum confirmed that the Queen would indeed be retired, subject to consultation.

“With much regret, we are proposing, subject to consultation, the immediate retirement of our Queen of the Skies, the 747-400. The unofficial flagship of our fleet, the 747-400 has a very special place in the hearts of aviation enthusiasts and of many of us,” the memo reads.

BA’s 747 fleet has fallen victim to the adverse economic impact of the pandemic. More airlines have opted to retire older aircraft in favour of newer, more fuel-efficient alternatives such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787. Qantas is also on its way of retiring the Queen.

British Airways operated the 747 since 1971, starting with the 747-100 version. United Kingdom’s national flag carrier went on to operate the 747-200, -300, and the -400 over the next few years. Per Planespotters.net, BA received its last 747-400 in April 1999.

With reports from AirlineGeeks, UK Aviation News
Photo from Art Konovalov

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