Stop of the jumbo: British Airways retires 747 fleet early on coronavirus woes

End of the jumbo: British Airways retires 747 fleet early on coronavirus woes

LONDON/BENGALURU (Reuters) – British Airways, the world’s premier operator of Boeing 747s, will retire its whole jumbo jet fleet with rapid influence immediately after the novel coronavirus pandemic sent air travel into freefall.

FILE Image: A British Airways Boeing 747-400 taxis at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Louis Nastro

For more than 50-several years, Boeing’s (BA.N) “Queen of the Skies” has been the world’s most simply recognised jetliner with its humped fuselage and four engines, but its days experienced presently been numbered right before the pandemic struck previously this yr.

BA experienced been scheduling to retire the aircraft in 2024 but with passenger quantities decimated this calendar year and forecasts that it will be many years prior to they recover, the airline stated it was not likely its 747s would ever work commercially for it all over again.

“It is with wonderful sadness that we can verify we are proposing to retire our complete 747 fleet with fast impact,” BA mentioned in a assertion on Thursday.

The 747 aircraft democratized world wide air vacation in the 1970s but fell guiding fashionable twin-engine aircraft and now trails newer planes in fuel effectiveness, generating it high-priced to operate.

“While the plane will generally have a exclusive place in our heart, as we head into the long run we will be operating extra flights on fashionable, fuel-effective aircraft these kinds of as our new A350s and 787s,” BA included.

The main executive of British Airways has said the corporation, which is owned by IAG (ICAG.L), faces a fight for survival for the reason that of the pandemic, which has intended journey constraints have been in location across the world for most of this yr.

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BA has reported it needs to lower up to 12,000 positions, or about 28% of its workforce, to prepare for the scaled-down vacation sector expected about the coming a long time.

The Sunshine claimed last thirty day period that BA had attained an arrangement with its pilots to sack 350 and a further 300 in ‘pool’ for rehiring when desired. The bulk of pilots currently being ‘pooled’ were being anticipated to be the jumbo jet initially officers.

U.S.-centered Boeing and its suppliers signalled the end of the airplane, when they set the ultimate variety of elements it would require for the 747 jumbo jet plan at minimum a calendar year ago.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru, Modifying by Sherry Jacob-Phillips/Male Faulconbridge

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