Q&A reference 747 retirements.
When will we operate our final 747 flight?
We will cease operating the Boeing 747 during the fourth quarter of this year. We will announce an exact date within the next few weeks.
Why are we retiring the 747?
While the 747 has been a cherished part of the United family for nearly half a century, today there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights.
Why are we now retiring the 747s even earlier than originally intended?
The 747 has been an iconic aircraft for decades. However, as our 747-400s have aged in recent years, the fleet requires routing limitations, extra Tech Ops attention, burns twenty percent more fuel per seat than the 777-300ER and has the lowest customer satisfaction scores in our fleet. Additionally, most carriers have already retired these aircraft, making parts availability a challenge.
When will these fleet changes be reflected in the schedule?
We’ll be sure to share the final flight timing with you within the next few weeks before any aircraft changes are reflected in the schedule.
What aircraft will replace the 747 on the routes we currently deploy it on?
We intend to replace the flying with other widebody aircraft. Our forward-looking fleet plan will cover 747 replacements and anticipated growth opportunities.
Can you update us on the plan for 747 flying, as well as other long-haul international widebodies, for 2017? What’s going to happen in 2018?
Our Network Planning and Operations teams, working in close collaboration with our operating departments, are still developing those plans and we will share updates when available.
Will this result in base closures for pilots and flight attendants?
Our current base structure will remain the same; however, pilots who currently operate the 747s out of our SFO base will transition to other fleets. For flight attendants, there are no plans to surplus from stations we currently operate the 747 from. We will make these transitions as smooth and seamless as possible, in accordance with the CBA, for our people.
What impact will this retirement have on the San Francisco Maintenance Center and our San Francisco Line Maintenance operation?
This will have no effect on staffing at the SFO Maintenance Center. Our Line Maintenance team will continue to work on the widebody aircraft that replace the 747s.
When and how will we be celebrating our 747’s retirement?
You can be sure that we will be honoring this iconic aircraft’s retirement with a celebration worthy of its legacy. While the final flight will not be until the fourth quarter of this year, we have already started planning for an appropriate sendoff. We’ll be sure to share more about our plans in the weeks ahead.
What's going to happen with military charters?
United remains committed to our American troops and to working with our U.S. Government partners to facilitate their moves around the country and the world.
Where will the retired aircraft go?
We have a combination of owned and leased 747-400s. The leased aircraft will be returned to their leasing companies at the end of the leases. Once the United-owned aircraft are retired from service, the aircraft will be placed into storage, where they will either be sold or parted out.
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