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Future For The 744?

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:48 pm

Just thinking about the 744 as I was driving into work today (not unusual, but you usually snap out of it after looking for the flap handle on a Fiesta!!) and wanted to ask the following:

- With Lufty having abandoned plans to order more 744s, are there likely to be more 744 orders (or deliveries) after QF's 744LRs and AF's 744ER Fs? I know airlines - SQ and MH for example - have deferred deliveries, but they could take convert them to 777s.

- How many 744s - pax and freighter - are on the backlog and how many aircraft have been deferred?

To my mind - and I hope I am wrong on this, because I can honestly say that the 747 is my favourite aircraft - the 744 must be coming to the end of its days. The 747-5/600 have been abandoned and with the current downturn, airlines will probably look at consolidation rather than growth; they may be reluctant to invest in further 744s (although I still think the 744F has reasonable sales potential), with the A380 on the horizon.

Could QF's 744ERs be the last passenger 747s to be built?

(Unemotional!) comments, please?
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RE: Future For The 744?

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:51 pm

IMHO you could be right. Airlines are looking for economic performance now and seem to be turning more and more to the A330 and 777 products. With major airlines looking at the A380, including BA a (massive 747 user) the future could be bleak  Crying
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
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RE: Future For The 744?

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:58 pm

Boeing has orders for 64 747-400s (and variants) in their backlog.

Air France (2)
Asiana (3)
Atlas (4)
Cargolux (1)
China Airlines (7)
Eva Air (1)
GECA (1)
ILFC (5)
Japan Airlines (3)
KLM (3)
Korean (4)
Lufthansa (2)
Malaysia (5)
Northwest (2)
Philippine (4)
Qantas (6)
Singapore (1)
Virgin (1)
Unidentified (1)

Those were tha standing orders as of October 31st.

The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
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RE: Future For The 744?

Fri Dec 07, 2001 9:59 pm

I don think the B747 future is as bad as you think. They didnt get rid of the B747-500 or B747-XXX they just put them on hold . When the A380 comes out , why cant boeing just extend the upper deck? then create a new landing gear , wing and engines. There costs would be much lower then all of the research and development costs that airbus is paying. Boeing had said , that they will "look at other options when a market demand for an aircraft of such size is required" But I think they will either expand the B747 , or just develop a new aircraft. Thanks for the interesting post!
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RE: Future For The 744?

Fri Dec 07, 2001 10:05 pm

MAS has two B744 deliveries postponed to 2008/9 when I remember correct. Thus I´m a bit sceptical if these orders remain in the books. Nonetheless, until Airbus develops an A380 "shrink" for around 480 pax in three-class layout the B744´s future is still okay as neither the B773 nor the A340-600 have enough seating capacity to replace this bird.

Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A343/346, A380,AT4,AT7,B732/3/4/5/7/8/9,B742/4,B762/763,B772/77W,CR2/7/9/K,ER3/4,E70/75/90/95, F50/70/100,M11,L15,SF3,S20, AR8/1, 142/143,...
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RE: Future For The 744?

Fri Dec 07, 2001 10:41 pm

I bet Boeing isn´t giving away the top part of the market without a serious fight. Boeing said already the 747 will be built for along time coming. The 747 is THE Image-product of the US and definetely it will stay that way for a long time. A 777 will never take its place, because its simply not a top-of-the-line product.
After the failure of the 745/746-project I think its quite right for Boeing to wait until the buying hausse of the A380 is slowing down. Of cause this new superjumbo is seriuosly cutting down the 747 market, but not completely. There is a big gap between the 744 and the A380.
Remember always that currently all major airlines have 744 fleets sizable and new enough for some years coming. But what will happen in 5 years when the first 744s need to be retired and the market has recovered? I bet Boeing will come up with a new variant.
And especially the 747 freigher has a long future ahead because it has a different market than the A380 freighter.
Its almost sure the best times are over for the 744, especially when looking at the high production rates of 1989-92 and the late 90s, but if Boeing comes up with a new varinat in 3 or 5 years with new engines as well I expect the 747 still in production by 2020.

That cannot be said from the 757, 767 and 737 who will all be old metal by then!
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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 2:27 am

As (I think) I said, I'm fairly happy there's a reasonable future ahead for the 744F, it's really just the passenger acft I'm worried about and I would imagine many of the above airlines would seek to either convert their orders to freighters or indeed, to other Boeing types.

One option Boeing has looked at and which could be developed is a four engined, stretched 777-300; I've seen an artist's illustration of this in Flight and when you consider that quite a few current 747 operators are also 777 operators, it makes sense to go towards a common rating.
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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 2:34 am

The 744 is a awesome piece of machinery, that said, perhaps carriers will begin the shift to the different variants of the 777. It's a efficeint aircraft, from what I have been told, and less maintanence with only two engines. The cargo hold is just as large as a 744 and fly further. Perhaps the 744 will be around but not as the main option for airlines that fly the int routes. Perhaps the 777 is the plane that will take over the 744 customers then a new Boeing plane will be introduced to compete with the A380.

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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 2:34 am

777-300 with four engines? Smells a bit like a A340-600 to me! It would make sense to go for common rating on Boeing products, because alot of Airbus sales ( I imagine) are due to the "fly one, and you can fly them all factor!"
Twins,twins, everywhere.... but where are the three holers?
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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 3:39 am


A little off topic, are you able to get onto the IABB? For some reason, I only get Ultime BB scrip. For example:


# Ultimate Bulletin Board is copyright Infopop Corporation, 1998-2000.
# ------------ Ultimate.cgi -------------
# This file contains intro functionality for the UBB............................


Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 3:53 am

What would be the point of a four-engined 777-300ER? Two engines can do the job just fine and achieve a similar range to todays 767 and A330 planes.
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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 4:14 am

The sum of the remaining orders in Boeings 747 book you mentioned is 56 not 64.
That is 41 aircraft less than the 97 orders for the A380 already.
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Sat Dec 08, 2001 4:30 am


Just changing the main topic, can you share with me whica are the Varig orders and for when they are planned?

Thank you.

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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 4:32 am

Kaitak, a stretched 777 with four engines is probably very unlikely, since the 777-300 is already near the edge of the agreed upon 80x80 airport gate limitations.

Perhaps a 777-400 could be stretched to 80m, but it would be such a limited stretch that 2 engines would probably do fine.
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RE: Future For The 744?

Sat Dec 08, 2001 5:50 am

I was just wondering about the 747 freighter version. Can the short second deck hold any cargo? I think the A380 will be esp succesful in the freight market, but I think the 747 will be ok for a while for the routes that the A380 would offer too much capacity on. In the future though I would be a little concerned if Airbus starts making varients of the A380 like an all cargo floor and a passenger floor.

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