Photo: Michael Probst Associated Press
Launched in 1970, the “Jumbo Jet” Boeing can carry more than 600 passengers in some configurations.
Device the mythical Boeing, the 747 has seen its slow agony to be accelerated with the outbreak of coronavirus up to push British Airways announced the withdrawal of its fleet, after many others, just as the A380 Airbus.
Who has announced a withdrawal ?
The announcement of British Airways on Friday follows that of Lufthansa in April, stating in particular that the retirement of five Boeing 747-400, seven airbus A340-600, and six A380s, with a fleet of 32 Boeing 747 (all types) and 14 A380. This withdrawal was precipitated by “the environmental impact and the economic disadvantages of this type of device,” said the group.
Air France, which had already decided to stop flying the A380 end of 2022, in particular because of its operating costs too high, has accelerated the movement with the crisis due to the coronavirus, and the slow recovery of the announced traffic.
The australian Qantas has accelerated this month the withdrawal of its 747, announced last year, and performed a flight of farewell with the last three 747. The A380 must also be removed, said the company.
Twelve 747 stamped Korean Air on 23 circulating currently, there are 11 freighters and one passenger, told AFP the company that does not provide for withdrawal. At Air India, four 747s are used to transport vips or perform evacuations, said a source within the company.
In December 2017, the Americans had already said goodbye to the queen of heaven : Delta Air Lines, the last company operating the 747, had withdrawn from its fleet of passenger transportation.
The coronavirus, guilty, or co-accused ?
“The coronavirus is an accelerator “, slice Remy Bonnery, expert aeronautical cabinet Archery Consulting, while the pandemic has nailed to the ground most aircraft in the world the year of the fiftieth anniversary of the 747, an airplane that 1571 models have been ordered in its history.
The virus has come, therefore, to press on a wound already opened, according to him : this is the 747 of Boeing or the A380 for Airbus, these aircraft are much more difficult to manage in a fleet […] These are not the easiest planes to fill out, they have a consumption level above “.
Launched in 1970, the “Jumbo Jet” Boeing bump fuselage characteristic, can carry more than 600 passengers in some configurations and the A380 up to 853.
“Already before the crisis, there has been a movement that has been going to jets smaller and more flexible “, to lower costs and able to perform journeys are very different, encouraging companies to provide advance withdrawals, said Mr. Bonnery.
The A380 offers the best cost per seat on the market to condition for it to be filled to 100 %, stated recently at the AFP Sébastien Mayor, expert aerospace firm Kea & Partners. What was far from obvious on many routes.
Is this the end of the giants of the air ?
“It is obvious that in the next few years we’re not going to go toward aircraft very large aircraft,” stresses Remy Bonnery, adding that ” the work of the manufacturers will mainly focus on the short haul and mono-corridors capable of doing the long haul “.
Emirates, the biggest customer of the A380 with its 115 aircraft, has announced that it has continued the operation of the device, which made its first flight there was just 15 years old. But the company’s president Tim Clark believes that with the pandemic, a giant like the A380 in the long term, ” finished “.
Side manufacturers, Airbus announced in February 2019 the stopping of deliveries to 2021 of its aircraft to 251 copies ordered by 14 customers, while Bloomberg has claimed in early July that the last 747-8, the ultimate version of the Jumbo american that has especially found a taker in the cargo version, should be out of factory within two years, without confirmation from the aircraft manufacturer.
Despite its detractors, the aircraft’s mythical Boeing can still count on a support, the support of the president of the United States and its Air Force One.
Two 747-8, larger, more modern, faster and consume less kerosene than current 747-200, 30-year-old and that cost of 180,000 dollars per hour, are expected by the White House.
With the offices of the AFP
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