Scalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 10193 times:
It strikes me, numerous times, about all of the 747's that are converted and configured to cargo versions from passenger versions. Is the 747 simply too expensive to operate in passenger version the way we know it today, or has it simply lost favor with the public?
May this be a sign that large aircraft is "out" of favor with airlines that used to be the traditional operator?
I am not aware of any airline that has any 747 on order (except for freighters).
What will ultimately become of the 747 passenger version the way we know it today?
Lazyshaun From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 545 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10146 times:
The 747 (excluding the 748) has no passenger orders to be fullfulled, correct.
I personally believe that this generation will be retired fully from service in about 2011. Almost every major carrier with 747's either has 777/787/340/350/380 on order, excluding BA, and is in this process of converting thier 747's into freighters or selling them on, often as freighters
SQ, ANA, JL,AF, Korean, QF, CX all are large 747pax operaters, who have a/c on order to replace them and are in the process of retireing/selling on thier 747's, or converting to Cargo.
Few carriers have 747 pax in small numbers, or if they do, will have little rpoblem replacing them, as they don't need to cash-out big time to replace 2 or 3 a/c. (Air Pacific and PR come to mind here)
This is just my opinion, I would be happy to hear other views
Zvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 65 Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10165 times:
It depends on whether or not any airline orders the B747-8I. The optimistic case would be that the last B747-8I is produced around 2020 and flies in passenger service until 2040. The pessimistic case is that no airline buys the B747-8I and the last B747-400 is converted to a freighter about 2015.
Scalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10124 times:
The question that really comes to my mind is this:
Why are airlines converting their 747's to freighters?
Is the cargo market growing faster than the passenger market (I personally believe it is)? In that regard the 747 may simply be more profitable to operate within this segment. I can't confirm this with any reliable fact. Just speculation.
If the 747, with its large-scale capacity, is on it's way out, and I think it is, why does Airbus decide to launch the A-380?
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7066 posts, RR: 17 Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10031 times:
Quoting Lazyshaun (Reply 2): The 747 (excluding the 748) has no passenger orders to be fullfulled, correct.
I personally believe that this generation will be retired fully from service in about 2011.
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought China Airlines had an outstanding order for three passenger and one freight 744 409s while KLM and Thai as well as China Airlines have all taken delivery of passenger aircraft since late 2003. So if these aircraft are to be 'retired fully from service in about 2011' they will have been just about the most unsuccessful purchases made by any of the world's airlines.
The last BA 744 was delivered to them on 16 April 1999. In their 2006 Annual Report BA stated that the expected life of each aircraft in its current fleet would be between 15 and 25 years. So unless BA were giving their investors misleading information, this aircraft is unlikely to be retired before 2014 at the earliest.
History shows that BA usually retires its short haul aircraft earlier than its long haul aircraft, presumably because they accumulate cycles more quickly than do their long haul fleet. Certainly their first 744, G-BNLA, is already well past its seventeenth birthday and BA have not yet placed an order to replace it. So they must plan to keep it in service for a minimum of another two or three years.
So I assess that the 747 436 is likely to be in service with BA for the rest of this decade and most if not all of the next.
And what will happen to their fleet after they no longer want it? Their 741 G-AWNP was delivered to them in September 1974. Today, more than thirty-two years later, it is registered 5N-OOO and I believe it is still in occasional use by Kabo Air for, for example, Hadj flights.
AirplaneFan From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 231 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10006 times:
Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 3): With potential 748I sales, the 747 series will be around for at least another couple of decades...
I agree sir.
For example AI, BA, BR, CA, CI, CX, JL, KL, NH, NW, NZ, UA, & OZ currently operate the 747-400 and can consider ordering the 747-800 as their best replacement for their 747-400's. These airlines haven't yet ordered the A380, but the A380 can also become part of their fleet replacement for their 747-400's. Who knows.
I know NH, JL, CX, BR, AI, and KL currently have the 777-300ER either on order or already operate it, but the 747-800 can fit in between on some routes. I just have a feeling that BA, JL, and NH are going to order the 747-800 sometime soon because these airlines are strong widebody Boeing customer. My feeling might just not be true at all, but who know what can really happen.
Scalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9992 times:
Quoting VV701 (Reply 8): The last BA 744 was delivered to them on 16 April 1999. In their 2006 Annual Report BA stated that the expected life of each aircraft in its current fleet would be between 15 and 25 years.
I can certainly understand that the service period for the aforementioned aircraft can span across the 15 - 25 years that you quote. Nothing unreasonable about this assumption. But how are we to know that BA will operate these in passenger version? If there were takers intersted in these examples where the price would be right for freighter conversion, I bet BA would sell and replace these with 777s.
I see the inventory of 747 passenger versions dwindling rapidly. Either these aircraft are more profitable as freighters, or they have lost favor with the markets that they serve, the passengers, and the airlines operating them.
Cchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1744 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9966 times:
There is always a small demand of old passenger 747s in the developing world. These birds will still be around with small carriers for a while, possibly another 20-30 years until they can't find parts for repairs.
NA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10058 posts, RR: 11 Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9940 times:
The latest passenger 747-400 like Qantas ERs I expect to be operated as such until 2020-2025, 747-8Is a lot later, around the same time the last passenger 777s will find their way to the deserts. 747-8Is and 777s will be built until about the same time when they will be replaced by a joint successor. I expect freighter versions of both be built longer than the respective passenger jets though.
1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9901 times:
I know that VS has delayed its A380 EIS until 2013 and extended the leases of its 747-400s, so I would expect them to be in service maybe until 2015 or so. AF I think will have all their aircraft as freighters by 2010 as they will have A380s and COI configured 773ERs by then.
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7066 posts, RR: 17 Reply 16, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9898 times:
Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 10): But how are we to know that BA will operate these in passenger version?
We can deduce that BA will continue to operate some or all of their 744 fleet in passenger configuration for some time for several reasons.
They have the world's largest fleet of 744 aircraft. They were the world's most profitable passenger airline in 2005. Therefore it is clear that the 744 made a significant contribution to their profits. So why get rid of it?
BA do not currently operate any freighter aircraft themselves (althought Global Supply Systems operate a minimum of three on their behalf). Further they have not done so since they sold their last freighter 747 to CX in the early 1980s. So we can be sure that they will not start to operate any significant number of freighters (5+) in the near or medium term future. After all why would the world's most profitable (and therefore successful) passenger airline suddenly change its business plan?
We can also be sure that BA would not have told their shareholders and potential shareholders in their last annual report that they planned to keep all their current aircraft fleet until each aircraft was between 15 and 25 years if this was an untruth. If this should prove to be the case it would bring them into conflict with the FSA (Financial Services Authority) for providing investors with substantially misleading information.
KingAirMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 291 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 9790 times:
why do we see Dc-9s from the early 70's late 60's that are still around, yet only anticipate the life of a 747 to be for 15-20 years from now ? DC-9's have been around almost 40. With Technology getting better i would think we would be able to even further prolong the life of our airframes..
Sonic67 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 292 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9735 times:
The B747 will be around for many years in passenger and freight configurations at least 25 years or so. With Total built of 1381 and 70% of them Active 962 I don't see that all being retired feasible. The 787I will be probably popular and keep the line going for several years to come.
PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9 Reply 19, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9688 times:
Quote: why do we see Dc-9s from the early 70's late 60's that are still around, yet only anticipate the life of a 747 to be for 15-20 years from now ? DC-9's have been around almost 40.
DC-9's are perfect for the missions they are serving for NW - short range, medium capacity, up-and-down all day, and easy to patch.
747's are quite large for many markets, and many airlines are aiming for smaller planes with more frequencies. I think some long haul airlines such as BA and QF will, as has been stated before, hold onto theirs for a very long time - don't forget that long range planes like that can last a very long time, with longer cruising extending the life of the plane.
I will wear black for a week and many never come out of mourning the day the last 747 flight occurs.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
TrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2171 posts, RR: 7 Reply 20, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9688 times:
Quoting KingAirMan (Reply 17): why do we see Dc-9s from the early 70's late 60's that are still around, yet only anticipate the life of a 747 to be for 15-20 years from now ? DC-9's have been around almost 40.
I wouldn't say its a general rule, but many airlines seem to switch widebodies quicker than narrowbodies, possibly because the economic disadvantages of older widebodies is greater but most certainly because the number of aircraft needed to replace is less.
For example, AA began replacing its MD-11s in 1998, a mere 5 years after it received its last delivery in favor of the 777. Meanwhile, AA still flies some MD-82s that are over 20 years old. The difference is AA have about 300 MD-80s while they never had more than 20 MD-11s so the MD-11s were easier to phase out. Just my 2 cents.
TrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2171 posts, RR: 7 Reply 21, posted (7 years 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9667 times:
Quoting Lazyshaun (Reply 2): I personally believe that this generation will be retired fully from service in about 2011. Almost every major carrier with 747's either has 777/787/340/350/380 on order
I highly doubt that. Although more and more airlines probably will continue to retire older 747s for the aircraft you mentioned, many others will not. As said China Airlines operates the newest 744 pax version and BA will probably operate them for a while, seeing as they have 57 in the fleet. NW also has some new 744s delivered as late as 2002. I can't see these going unless NW ceases operations because of bankruptcy or merges. AF also had passenger 744s delivered between 2002-2004. I would imagine they will be in service for quite some time as well.