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When Will The 747 Be Out Of Passenger Service?  
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11186 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?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDrerx7 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5157 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11180 times:

Well--ultimately someone will probably still order the 748 for pax service--even if they didn't the 747 would probably still fly passengers for another 20 years--with the 748 my guess is 40 years.


Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
User currently offlineLazyshaun From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11139 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 Smile

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 Smile



I came. I saw. I conquered
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11149 times:

With potential 748I sales, the 747 series will be around for at least another couple of decades... Smile


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User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11158 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.

User currently offlineBrettFromCLT From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11135 times:

Does anyone have a CASM comparison between, for example, 744ER and 773ER on a given route?

User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11117 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?

It almost seems counter-intuitive.


User currently offlineAustralia1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11101 times:

bit of a silly question when 747-800 aren't even produced yet.

There will probably be 747-800's around in 35 years time, by which time, if Boeing keeps getting orders, there might be a 747-900 or whatever.

A lot depends on how the 787 goes.

Pax are more & more less likely to want to go thru hubs & as 787 is a hub buster, it should succeed where A380 will only work between major hubs.

These days, who wants to fly to a hub to get an something like an A380 to fly to another hub, to then get another flight to where u actually want to go.

1 flight instead of 3, way to go in the future !!!


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7387 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 11024 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.


User currently offlineAirplaneFan From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10999 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.

Rgds,

AirplaneFan

[Edited 2006-12-02 03:50:16]


I AM ABLE THINK, THEREFORE I EXIST.
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10985 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.


User currently offlineCchan From New Zealand, joined May 2003, 1759 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10959 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.

User currently offlineNA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10645 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10933 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.

User currently offlineBeech19 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 936 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10919 times:

Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
I am not aware of any airline that has any 747 on order (except for freighters).



Quoting Lazyshaun (Reply 2):
The 747 (excluding the 748) has no passenger orders to be fullfulled, correct.



Quoting VV701 (Reply 8):
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought China Airlines had an outstanding order for three passenger and one freight 744 409s

Correction on its way...  Wink

Phillipine Airlines has an outstanding order for 4 x 747-400 Pax that was placed on September 4th, 1996. Rumor has it that they will be converting those orders to the potential 777 order.

China Airlines only has 1 x 744F that hasn't been delivered. All pax orders were filled as of April, 2005.



KPAE via KBVY
User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10900 times:

Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
When Will The 747 Be Out Of Passenger Service?

Not too soon I hope! I've yet to fly on one.  Sad


User currently offline1stfl94 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 1455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10894 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.

User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7387 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10891 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.


User currently offlineKingAirMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10783 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..

kingairman


User currently offlineSonic67 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10728 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.

http://www.airfleets.net/exploit/index.php file=exploitapp&app=b747&start=0&tot=1976


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10681 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.  cry 



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User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2326 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10681 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.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineTrijetsRMissed From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2326 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10660 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.



There's nothing quite like a tri-jet.
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5610 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10640 times:

Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
What will ultimately become of the 747 passenger version the way we know it today?

QFs six B744ERs are only 3-4 years old and are the ultimate development of the 747 currently in service. I would expect to see them in pax service to 2020, worst case, maybe 2025.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10639 times:

Simple answer: Long before the Northwest DC-9's.

User currently offlineKingAirMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 10621 times:

why dont we see BA ordering the 748? Considering they are such a loyal 747 customer. .

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 23):
Simple answer: Long before the Northwest DC-9's.

hahahaaa  laughing 

WELCOME TO MY RU list!


25 Post contains images Ken777 : I believe that we will eventually see 748i sales as airlines replace their 744s. I simply don't believe that the 380s and 777s will replace all of the
26 Gemuser : My preference too!!! That is one possiability, another is that seeing QF8 has not gone back to daily since 9/11 replace it with a B787 and make it da
27 Zvezda : No airline flies both, but the B747-400ER should have a nearly identical CASM to the B747-400. The B747-400 has a slightly lower CASM than the B777-3
28 Post contains images Alfa75 : That is, of course, we still have any fuel left!
29 Access-Air : The title of the thread makes the prosepctive reader think that the person posting the thread is chomping at the bit to see the 747 wiped off the plan
30 Steeler83 : True, although someone has pointed out that the DC9s and 747s serve different routes and markets. DC9s are mainly used on shorter routes while the 74
31 ANNOYEDFA : Till the very last airbus is retired from the sky....
32 Scalebuilder : The thread was not intended to see or to speculate whether the 747 will disappear alltogether. Only from passenger service. Some large scale operator
33 NA : In most cases its the opposite. LH, BA, Qantas, JAL, just four major examples. All these airlines operate their 747s for about 22-28 years, while the
34 Post contains images Jacobin777 : ..We just dont' know..though I do expect to to see some majour carriers order the 748I....for a few carriers, the gap between the B773/A346 and A380
35 Jetspaul : I find it strange that Air Canada Retired its 747-475's and 747-433 combi's, the -475's being retired first. At the time it was said that the passenge
36 Bmacleod : The number of 747s - 7 in total were not enough for AC to continue maintenance service. The 777-300ER is also quite a bit smaller than the 747-400. 9
37 Lehpron : Scalebuilder, you reasking two different questions. Technically, whenever their use does not meet the needs of their customers. As of a date, there is
38 TrijetsRMissed : I am sure you're right, which airlines would you say have gotten themselves in the most trouble doing this? It really can go either way. AA, UA, NW,
39 Jyatlantic : The A 340s and 350s are just too darn slow...
40 Post contains images 747400sp : QF 747 400ER still has another 20+ year of passengers service in them.
41 Gbfra : I had the opportunity to visit the A380 mock-up at Toulouse a while ago and I can tell you that the difference to a B747 is absolutely astonishing. I
42 GlobalVillage : The DC-3 has been around for 60 years and is still in passenger service.
43 DC8FanJet : The 747 will be hauling passengers for many years to come, probably 20 more at least. There are too many markets where the combination of cargo capabi
44 Blackbird1331 : If the 748 passenger is replaced, it will be by a four-engined 787. The 797.
45 Post contains images Alfa75 : Where can I sign up for that.
46 TrijetsRMissed : I did not state that, that was someone else's response to my post. But if you're alluding to the point that widebodies do differ on the inside I woul
47 Access-Air : Well when I said above "buy new planes"...I actually meant "Lease new planes..." Which airlines you ask??? How about United, And ATA?? How about Delt
48 UA772IAD : Word on the street is that UA will probably order the 748 (as well as the 787). This isn't coming from upper management, but what I would consider a r
49 TrijetsRMissed : So you think DL would be better off with the MD-11s and L1011s they owned as opposed to the newer 777s and 764s? Or better off with the 732/733s inst
50 Columba : Because for the first time the 747 has a real contender with the A380 (also with the 777-300ER from below) and BA will evaluate which of the aircraft
51 Post contains images Scalebuilder : Your statement raises questions in my mind. Why has BA not decided to have dedicated freighters in their fleet, and as part of their growth strategy?
52 Post contains images Jacobin777 : ..hence me adding LH as a "possible" strong contender... Maybe I didn't address myself as clear as I should have...so we agree on that. I don't agree
53 777fan : After riding in the UD of one on a LAX-SYD jaunt a couple of weeks ago, I hope they never leave service...what a honey of an aircraft! 777fan
54 BAW716 : Hmm, crystal ball time. The 747-400 will be around for another 18-20 years. Depending upon what happens a) with the A380 and b) with the ongoing discu
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