Farewell to the Queen

If you follow real world aviation news then I’m sure you’ve heard the sad news which was announced last week.  Of course I’m talking about British Airways plans to retire their fleet of 28 Boeing 747-400 aircraft.  In pre-COVID times, British Airways was the largest operator of the B744 and had plans to continue to operate the type into 2024. 

I’ve had the pleasure to fly on three BA 744 flights in the past 5-6 years with the last flight being summer of 2019. While I’m fascinated with all aircraft types, the Boeing 747 Queen of the Skies was my absolute most favorite.  British Airways began operating the 747-400 into Denver with their daily non-stop to London Heathrow about 6 years ago, replacing the Boeing 777-200 which had been used from the beginning of the DEN to LHR service.  Of course the daily BA flight which connects Denver to London has been cancelled since mid March and I’m uncertain when it will resume.  Most likely once the daily service resumes BA will either return to using the B772 or perhaps the Dreamliner. 

Lack of Passenger Demand

The reasons for BA retiring their 747 fleet ahead of schedule boils down to lack of passenger demand and of course to the inefficiencies with the four engine beast.  Of the 28 remaining 744’s in BA’s fleet, the majority were 20+ years of age and have served the airline well. 

Long Live the Queen

Of course the majestic Boeing 747 will continue to fly.  A few passenger airlines will continue to operate the newer 747-8 and of course the 747-400 will continue to fly into the next decade hauling freight around the globe. 

The Future

If I could predict the future, I’d probably first focus on the next six numbers in the lottery…but who really knows what the future of passenger airline travel will look like.  I suppose most of us believed this COVID-19 pandemic would have wrapped up by now and it appears there is no end in sight of it just yet.  I read a few weeks ago that it could be 2023 or even 2024 before airline travel returns to the status it was pre-COVID.  But I’ve learned over the past few months not to really trust anything I hear as short of God himself, know one knows.

Thanks for reading and please continue to take care of yourself and each other.  We will get through this.

Until next time….

Jerry


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