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Air France 747 Final Flight. On The Horizon?  
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4009 posts, RR: 12
Posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 23215 times:
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hi Everyone,

As you all know Air France is removing the 747 aircraft from its fleet, they were previously removing those from passenger service and replacing them with A380 and 77W equipment, but as discussed on a separate topic AF is considering dismantling its cargo activity, so its looks like soon Air France will have no more 747 at all.
It is obvious that the 747 days at Air France (I'm not talking about KLM, just AF) are numbered. Unless of course they order the 747-8, but I don't think they will.
Anyone at Air France knows when the last 747 will be retired?
When? And on what route?
FLYSSC must know.

Ben Soriano


Ben Soriano
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31437 posts, RR: 85
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 23178 times:
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As I understand it, the delays in the A380 deliveries forced AF to keep the 747-400s in the fleet through 2014 and they have undergone - or will undergo - cabin refurbishment to keep them "fresh" until then.

User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1872 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 22939 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
As I understand it, the delays in the A380 deliveries forced AF to keep the 747-400s in the fleet through 2014 and they have undergone - or will undergo - cabin refurbishment to keep them "fresh" until then.

Contrarily to what many people think on this forum, AF is not replacing its 744 by A380 but by 77W with J, W (premium voyageur) and "high density" Y. So I don't think there is any impact of A380 delays on 744 retirement. A380 has 1st class and too much J seats for the current 744 routes (AF744 has no 1st class and about 40 J seats). Regarding cabin refurbishment, I would be very surprised if they invest in a soon-to-be-retired fleet but I may be wrong of course.

Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
It is obvious that the 747 days at Air France (I'm not talking about KLM, just AF) are numbered.

I'm afraid you're right. Even if the jumbo is now far from being the best A/C in AF fleet, I still enjoy the unique experience to fly J in the front section of the lower deck (the nose) or Y on the upper deck. I'll miss this a lot   


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31437 posts, RR: 85
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 22696 times:
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Quoting goldorak (Reply 2):
Contrarily to what many people think on this forum, AF is not replacing its 744 by A380 but by 77W with J, W (premium voyageur) and "high density" Y. So I don't think there is any impact of A380 delays on 744 retirement.

Yes, it is true that AF's remaining 747-400 fleet just has Affaires and Voyageur and AF is taking delivery of 777-300ERs with Affaires, Alizé and Voyageur. However, I seem to recall reading in a thread on this forum that AF was keeping their 744s longer than planned due to late deliveries of A388s.

I don't know how AF is allocating their 77W fleets between long-haul (with F) and regional (without), but perhaps they had to pull forward deliveries of their long-haul 77Ws to make up for the delays in the A388, meaning that deliveries of the regional 77Ws tasked to replace the 744s were pushed back?


User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 19767 times:

IIRC, GEXA (the oldest 744, built in 1989) is supposed to be withdrawn in 2010 (?)

[Edited 2010-06-08 04:53:11]


אמא, אני מתגעגע לך
User currently onlinesralfalo From Germany, joined Nov 2005, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 18221 times:
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As they have already painted a few 744's in the new c/s it looks like they are going to keep them a bit longer.

User currently offlineORDFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 17324 times:

It will be a sad day for me when the passenger AF 747s do retire. I remember them fondly when they were a staple at ORD back in the 90s. I was due to fly ORD-CDG back in 98 for the World Cup but unfortunately, the air strike that year prevented that. Nonetheless, I was able to fly on it on the return leg and am glad I got a chance to while she was still in the fleet.

Where are AF sending their 744s nowadays? The only US cities I know are JFK, BOS, and LAX. I see there are only 12 744s left in service; how many did AF operate at their peak?


User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1741 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 16854 times:

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 6):
Where are AF sending their 744s nowadays? The only US cities I know are JFK, BOS, and LAX. I see there are only 12 744s left in service; how many did AF operate at their peak?

SFO is a 747 destination, at least part of the year (summer). MRU is also a 747 destination.


User currently offlineaviationbuff08 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 346 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 16642 times:

Quoting ORDFan (Reply 6):
Where are AF sending their 744s nowadays? The only US cities I know are JFK, BOS, and LAX.

ATL has an AF 744 Daily for the summer, and it has been completely full most days.


User currently offlinecesarv777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 16412 times:

MIA is and has been a consistent 747 destination for AF.

User currently offlineHBGDS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 16375 times:

I was surprised that the switch has not happened yet, but it also has to do with internal factors, primarily unions.

At least AF does not have to fight the 3 vs. 2 in the cockpit the way they did back in the 90s, but there is the matter of retraining and retiring. From the 744, you could go to Airbus if you wanted, or stay with a Boeing. Depending on crew projections/hires and availability, etc.. this can have an impact. Don't laugh. AF-KLM may be a single airline ostensibly, but AF has so-called "social charges" that also affect when to hire new crew and offer early retirement to some captains because it cost a whole lot more. (DLH is also fighting that one regularly with its pilot union).

Two cents on the last flight: It will be advertised, but give it another 5 years, I would say. These birds may be less efficient, but when you stuff'em to go to Martinique (500+ all Y), they bring home enough bacon in one flight instead of a couple of full 77W.

As far as repainting a plane, while it makes sense to save money (and many on this list like to rag on AF's limited cleaning of its fleet), the painting cycle simply follows a full D-check or in some cases earlier. So if some of these planes came up for repainting, and the shops have alsready switched to the new brand, then you will have a few rare birds. 'happened with SR when they phased out their early 747s. HB-IGB was repainted following its D-check. HB-IGA never saw the "new" ('81) livery. Both left in '83 when the new -300s showed up.

g


User currently offlineVal747 From France, joined Aug 2009, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15783 times:

AF 747 was supposed to be completely withdrawn from the fleet by 2010/2011, but with all that happened, and with the fuel prices, they will remain alive until 2013/2014.
F-GEXB, and F-GITC (IIRC), are coming back into service! (they were supposed to be the next ones leaving the fleet!)


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15571 times:

Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
FLYSSC must know.

He knows ...  
Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
AF is considering dismantling its cargo activity

This is a rumor published in French newspaper but in reality, there is no such plan in a short or even medium term.

Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
it looks like soon Air France will have no more 747 at all.
AF is curretly operating 9 B744 PAX version.
The decision to extend for another two years the fleet of B744 was taken just a few weeks by AF.
A B744 currently in storage will even return back in service soon ...

Quoting American 767 (Thread starter):
Anyone at Air France knows when the last 747 will be retired?

Not before 2015 by now ...

[Edited 2010-06-08 10:23:05]

User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2185 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15469 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I don't know how AF is allocating their 77W fleets between long-haul (with F) and regional (without), but perhaps they had to pull forward deliveries of their long-haul 77Ws to make up for the delays in the A388, meaning that deliveries of the regional 77Ws tasked to replace the 744s were pushed back?

In fact the 77W you mention aren't 'regional' but high-density vs the others that are 'low-density'. Both sub-fleets fly exclusively intercontinental routes, high-density ones go for instance to RUN, PTP, HAV, YUL while high density ones are workhorses on business-oriented destinations such as SIN, HKG, JFK, IAH, NRT etc...

I think the new ones coming are supposed to be a third cabin configuration, with more J seats than the high-density ones (they only have 14 J seats), but still much less than the low-density ones (67J) and no F. At least that's how they were supposed to get configured at one point, but perhaps AF changed their plans.

For reference, i think the 744 has 40 J & 389 Y, including the Y+ seats of the upped deck.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 15159 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 13):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
I don't know how AF is allocating their 77W fleets between long-haul (with F) and regional (without), but perhaps they had to pull forward deliveries of their long-haul 77Ws to make up for the delays in the A388, meaning that deliveries of the regional 77Ws tasked to replace the 744s were pushed back?

In fact the 77W you mention aren't 'regional' but high-density vs the others that are 'low-density'. Both sub-fleets fly exclusively intercontinental routes, high-density ones go for instance to RUN, PTP, HAV, YUL while high density ones are workhorses on business-oriented destinations such as SIN, HKG, JFK, IAH, NRT etc...

I think the new ones coming are supposed to be a third cabin configuration, with more J seats than the high-density ones (they only have 14 J seats), but still much less than the low-density ones (67J) and no F. At least that's how they were supposed to get configured at one point, but perhaps AF changed their plans.

AF is currently operating a fleet of 35 B77W

26 of them are configured with a "classic" 4 class config : 8P / 67J / 28W / 200Y and are operated on the "regular" long haul routes (JFK, NRT, SIN, LAX, GRU, KIX etc ...)

9 of them are configured with a "high density" 3 class config : 14J / 36S / 422M and are operated to PTP, FDF, RUN, CAY (summer only), HAV, PUJ-SDQ, YUL (summer only).

At the end of this year, Air France will start again to take delivery of additional B7WW. They will receive another configuration for "regular" long haul routes but with no "First Class".They will be configured with 42J / 24W / 315Y.
The first aircraft will be used in January 2011 on the new nonstop CDG-SGN-CDG.

AF will also start to reconfigure 10 of its 25 B772ER with no "First Class". They should start to be used to MIA, SFO BKK.

P = First Class
J = Business Class
W = Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy)
S = Alizée Class ("Old" Premium Economy)
Y = Voyageur (Economy)
M = Discount Enonomy


User currently offlineMIASkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 15112 times:

"AF will also start to reconfigure 10 of its 25 B772ER with no "First Class". They should start to be used to MIA, SFO BKK."
Seems like a big drop in capacity to go from 744 service to MIA to a 772? Wouldn't a higher density 773 be better?



Nothing better than making love at 35K Feet!
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 15013 times:

Quoting MIASkies (Reply 15):
"AF will also start to reconfigure 10 of its 25 B772ER with no "First Class". They should start to be used to MIA, SFO BKK."
Seems like a big drop in capacity to go from 744 service to MIA to a 772? Wouldn't a higher density 773 be better?

AF will probably use a mix of B772ER / B77W to MIA or maybe add a second flight on certain days


User currently offlineAA777223 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1259 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14651 times:

Where is AF storing their non-used 744s? If one is to be reactivated soon, preparations must be underway for its service.


Sic 'em bears
User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 13490 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 16):
AF will probably use a mix of B772ER / B77W to MIA or maybe add a second flight on certain days

When will AF start sending their 772s to MIA?
I fly to MIA in August 2011, and I am a bit tired of the old 744s (although a fan of the 747)



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User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13262 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 16):
Where is AF storing their non-used 744s? If one is to be reactivated soon, preparations must be underway for its service.

Two of them are in a short term storage at CDG.
Others are on a longer term storage at XCR (Chalons-Vatry) or ORY.


User currently offlinejetboy2 From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13149 times:

Quoting sralfalo (Reply 5):
As they have already painted a few 744's in the new c/s

I agree here... If there were plans for withdrawal within the next year or two, these planes wouldn't be carrying the updated branding. There are many other AC that could use it instead...


User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7428 posts, RR: 57
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13019 times:

Quoting sralfalo (Reply 5):
As they have already painted a few 744's in the new c/s it looks like they are going to keep them a bit longer.

  

For now, two of them are already wearing the new c/s : F-GITH & F-GISC,


User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2744 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 12336 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):

Right.
I saw GITH at CDG, and it looked good  

As for GITC, I am surprised it re-enters service: it was withdrawn several months ago already (maybe more than one year), it is not the oldest 744 out of service.



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User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1872 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12190 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 21):
For now, two of them are already wearing the new c/s : F-GITH & F-GISC,
Quoting LY777 (Reply 22):
I saw GITH at CDG, and it looked good

   I flew GITH from MRU one month ago and it looked really great in the new livery


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26021 posts, RR: 22
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12147 times:

I will miss AF's 744s, especially the upper deck Y class cabin which in my opinion is the best place to fly in Y class of any airline. I've flown Y in the AF upper deck 3 or 4 times in the past couple of years. With the private cabin, about 2 inches more seat pitch than the main deck (34 in. vs 32 in.), 2 flight attendants and 2 lavatories for 60 passengers, and AF's generally above-average Y class meal service (and free Champagne), it's better than many premium Y products. What a contrast from AF's cramped 10-abreast 777s which I will go out of my way to avoid.

[Edited 2010-06-08 15:35:44]

25 hardiwv : AF B747 are a pain, if they stay longer on the fleet I hope AF could spend some money to upgrade them to NEV3/NEV2. Plus the B77Ws released from A380
26 LY777 : No, these 772s and 77Ws will not have F class section
27 LY777 : BTW, how many 772s have now the 10-abreast config in Y?
28 FlySSC : F-GEXB has been returned to service. It is also the third B744 to wear now the new colorscheme.
29 Post contains images LY777 : A shame that a 21-year old plane is re-introduced in the AF fleet
30 as739x : With San Francisco seeing the 747 seasonally (summer) and now a second (A340) flight 4-weekly in July and August, once the 747 is retired, could we fi
31 sscaf001 : F-GEXB is an ex-UTA aircraft, isn't it ?
32 goldorak : No, too much J seats in the A380 (and F seats too) for SFO. Once the B744 don't go anymore to SFO, you'll probably see a 77W (with J, W and Y seats)
33 LY777 : yes, exactly
34 FlySSC : Well, not a shame at all, but economically very logical : this aircraft is close to the end of its life while other "younger" B744 that were retired
35 FlySSC : SFO is planned to be operated in a medium term with the new 3 Class* B772ER/B77W * J / W / Y
36 LY777 : It is a shame from a passenger point of view... Now, if they plan to keep their 744s 4 more years, maybe they should add PTVs in Y, or at least upgra
37 FlySSC : I really doubt AF will put a single € in a B744 equipement upgrade ... Starting January 2011, the brand new 3 Classes B77W will replace progressive
38 PA515 : Appreciate the information about the next 77W delivery, however only 30 have been delivered so far. PA515
39 LY777 : Is GITA now out of service?
40 FlySSC : Correct. 30 B77W and 25 B772ER.
41 FlySSC : F-GITA is stored since Feb 2010. The 10 AF B744 in service are : F-GEXA F-GEXB F-GITD F-GITE F-GITF F-GITH F-GITI F-GITJ F-GISC F-GISD
42 LY777 : Thanks! And GITC will be reintroduced, right?
43 LY777 : I was this morning at AF ticket office in Paris, and the agent told me that the 777s (both 77E and 77Ws) will be used on flights to MIA as soon as Feb
44 jfk777 : IF there is an airline that fits a "text book" case of replacing 744's with 77W's its Air France.
45 Post contains links Reggaebird : I can attest to the fact that the AF 744's are being refreshed. This newly painted beauty came to Boston on Saturday, June 19th. Sad to know that we
46 LY777 : They are a beauty indeed. A shame that they didn't receive the cabin upgrades they needed though[Edited 2010-06-23 08:28:01]
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