Alnicocunife
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When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:24 pm

It appears the everyone is retiring their 747-400 for conversion to cargo or scrap. When will Delta retire their 16 aircraft.

The last of the passenger versions manufactured are coming on 10 years old, some of Delta's are 22+ years. It must be worth (economic) to keep flying them? What are the passenger perceptions of flying the "old" beasts   
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:25 pm

Considerin all the interior upgrades DL is investing in them, they are here to stay well into the future.
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cmb320
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:49 pm

I would say in 20 years when we start buying used ones from United. That seems to be the trend 
 
AADC10
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:51 pm

Why would DL necessarily be the last passenger 744 operator? Because they do not have any specific plan to replace them? If fuel prices jump, the 744s would likely be parked with no replacement. BA is a lot more dependent on the 744 than DL and UA still uses more of them, although their demise is on the horizon.
 
B747forever
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:54 pm

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 3):
BA is a lot more dependent on the 744 than DL and UA still uses more of them

  

With a fleet of over 50 744s still flying, BA will be one of the last major carriers retiring the 747-400.
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catiii
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:56 pm

Quoting Alnicocunife (Thread starter):
What are the passenger perceptions of flying the "old" beasts

As a passenger who was flying them regularly there for a while, I had no negative perceptions at all.
 
warden145
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 9:59 pm

Quoting Alnicocunife (Thread starter):
What are the passenger perceptions of flying the "old" beasts

I will (and have) go out of my way to fly on one.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
With a fleet of over 50 744s still flying, BA will be one of the last major carriers retiring the 747-400.

  
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jr
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:11 pm

In 20 years, when they can get used 748I's for a bargain and 717s are still flying with a widget.

  
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roseflyer
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:14 pm

The oldest 747-400s that are being scrapped have over 100,000 flight hours on them. Lufthansa has been retiring 747s with over 110,000 flight hours on them.

Delta’s 747s operating transpacific routes under NW typically had lower utilization than some of the higher utilization operators, so there is still some life left in the airplanes.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):

With a fleet of over 50 744s still flying, BA will be one of the last major carriers retiring the 747-400.

True, and they have some relatively new ones, however DL also has some relatively new 747-400s delivered 1999-2002.
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PHX787
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting jr (Reply 7):
In 20 years, when they can get used 748I's for a bargain and 717s are still flying with a widget.

I have a feeling that's actually gonna be the case   

If anything, DL will retire their 744s before UA. Is UA doing any sort of cabin mod to theirs?
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727LOVER
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:22 pm

Can we get a list of who still flies the 744 & how many?

 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:25 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
Quoting AADC10 (Reply 3):
BA is a lot more dependent on the 744 than DL and UA still uses more of them


With a fleet of over 50 744s still flying, BA will be one of the last major carriers retiring the 747-400.

BA operated their original 747-100s for 28 years (all except 2 or 3 delivered when they were still BOAC). I remember a BA flight LHR-YMX (Montreal Mirabel) in August 1996 on one of their oldest 741s. I doubt any other passengers were aware that it was 26 years old.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 9):


If anything, DL will retire their 744s before UA. Is UA doing any sort of cabin mod to theirs?

UA already modified them to flat business in 2007-2009.
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:40 pm

Quoting Alnicocunife (Thread starter):
What are the passenger perceptions of flying the "old" beasts

The last 747-400s delivered only a few years ago. The aren't that old.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 10:58 pm

Quoting warden145 (Reply 6):
I will (and have) go out of my way to fly on one.

Amen! I woke up at 4:30AM TWICE before (and I am NOT a morning person) to catch that beast out of SFO, and it was so packed, I almost didn't get on. (6:00AM Departure)

Last I heard, they no longer REGULARLY fly the 744 from SFO-ORD, so I am glad I did it while I had the opportunity.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 11:06 pm

The 747-400 still offers room and comfort rarely found on newer aircraft. DL spent a fortune to upgrade the interiors and they will be around for the forseeable future. Ultimately, aging aircraft maintenance and fuel costs will determine when they are retired. But they still fly FULL daily across the Pacific and occasionally across the Atlantic (to AMS and TLV) and are preferred by many passengers ( and crew) over the newer generation of aircraft. DL will eventually need a replacement but there is nothing out there right now that suits them--perhaps the 777-300LR if it ever comes to pass.

Watch what happens when the USAF determines it is time to replace the two 747-200 aircraft presently serving as presidential aircraft. Both of those airframes are over 30 yeas old now and you know that the US Government will never replace them with (a) a twin engine aircraft or (b) a non-US built aircraft. That pretty much narrows it down to the 748i.
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Transpac787
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 11:14 pm

Quoting Alnicocunife (Thread starter):
When will Delta retire their 16 aircraft.

According to one of the flight ops updates published by the company back in February, the 747-400 will be in the DL fleet until 2018-2020.

The author of the update said he gets asked frequently if the 744 will be retired in the near future and he said the answer is simply "no", and that DL wouldn't be investing staggering amounts of money into cabin refurbs unless they wouldn't see a substantial ROI, which puts final retirement at the end of this decade.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 15):
Watch what happens when the USAF determines it is time to replace the two 747-200 aircraft presently serving as presidential aircraft. Both of those airframes are over 30 yeas old now

A bit younger, more like 22 years old. They were delivered in 1990 while George H. W. Bush was President. First trip he took on one was to Helsinki, if my memory serves.
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United1
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 11:36 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 17):
A bit younger, more like 22 years old. They were delivered in 1990 while George H. W. Bush was President. First trip he took on one was to Helsinki, if my memory serves.

They were delivered in 1990 but they were built in 1986 and took their first flight in 1987.
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ikramerica
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 11:48 pm

Both Presidential 744s are older than any other primary presidential transport before they were retired (or relegated to AF2/emergency use).
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Thu May 10, 2012 11:58 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 13):
Quoting Alnicocunife (Thread starter):
What are the passenger perceptions of flying the "old" beasts

The last 747-400s delivered only a few years ago. The aren't that old.

But since the subject involves DL, they also operate the first 747-400 built, the one that made the first flight more than 24 years ago on April 29, 1988.


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N661US wasn't the first 744 delivered as Boeing kept it for testing for a year or so. N663US (below) was the first in service in February 1989, delivered in the earlier NW livery.


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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 12:12 am

When the last DL 747-400 is flown to the desert, the pilots will most likely return home on some version of a Douglas twin jet!    Somebody had to say it...
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 12:16 am

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
With a fleet of over 50 744s still flying, BA will be one of the last major carriers retiring the 747-400.

The youngest 744 in the BA fleet, G-BYGG, celebrated its thirteenth birthday a couple of weeks back. It had clocked up 51,812 hrs as at 31 December 2010. So on past form it is somewhere near half way through its likely life span with BA. So it could still be operating for the airline in 2025.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 2:41 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
According to one of the flight ops updates published by the company back in February, the 747-400 will be in the DL fleet until 2018-2020.

The author of the update said he gets asked frequently if the 744 will be retired in the near future and he said the answer is simply "no", and that DL wouldn't be investing staggering amounts of money into cabin refurbs unless they wouldn't see a substantial ROI, which puts final retirement at the end of this decade.

Correct. The business case for doing the mod work was based on at least another 5-7 years of service.

DL has stated that essentially the only way they can get a decent return on asset is to fly aircraft for 30 years of service and fly them until the end of their usable life. While they may have higher operating costs, and maintenance costs creep up in the later years, this is all offset by the reduced ownership costs as they age.

As another poster said, DL (and NW) has generally not heavily utilized their 744s. There has always been a lot of slack in the fleet. They are low cycle aircraft for their age. Plus, several have been parked for periods of time, both in the desert, in a rolling active storage. Since about 2008, they were parking 2-3 spares in DTW when they didn't need to fully utilize the fleet.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 3:15 am

I think DL will be the last of the US carriers to fly the 744, but I highly doubt they will be the last in the world. IR still fly the 741 & 742, and just purchased some ex-QF 743's.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 3:42 am

Quoting QFVHOQA (Reply 24):
I think DL will be the last of the US carriers to fly the 744, but I highly doubt they will be the last in the world.

I think you're right. United is talking about retiring them in favor of the A350 coming up, but Delta hasn't said anything yet about retiring theirs. Both Northwest (now Delta) and United started flying the 744 already in 1989 when it was all new.

BA has been mentioned as an airline to keep flying the pax 744 for a long time to come since it has currently the largest fleet worldwide, but don't forget that Qantas is the only one operating the 744ER so they will also be flying it for several more years. QF won't retire its last 744ER before 2018.

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brons2
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 3:46 am

The really pertinent question is, will they be the only DC-9 operator at the same time that they're the only 744 operator?  

For that matter, what about the only MD-90 operator?  
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:06 am

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 19):
Both Presidential 744s are older than any other primary presidential transport before they were retired (or relegated to AF2/emergency use).

those aren't 744s. The VC-25s are highly modified 742s.
 
ikramerica
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:10 am

Meant to write 747s.
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coronado
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:17 am

You have to admit that watching how Delta manages its fleet is certainly not boring. And the 744's look as good in the new Delta climbing widget livery as they did on their original NWA launch colors.
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:24 am

Quoting American 767 (Reply 25):
QF won't retire its last 744ER before 2018.

They won't retire their first one by then.
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NASCARAirforce
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:26 am

I believe Northwest took delivery of its last two 747-400s in 2002 or so. I thought that was part of their big order in 2000 when they ordered the 757-300s, A330-300s as well as some A320s and I thought there were 2 747-400s in that order
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:39 am

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 23):
As another poster said, DL (and NW) has generally not heavily utilized their 744s. There has always been a lot of slack in the fleet.

NW did heavily utilize the 744; they were constantly airborne but flew such long flights that they accumulated few cycles.

Through the magic world of accounting (mainly depreciation), new aircraft often make the books look good but they don't do much for cash flow and thus constantly need to be in the air. But of course, when you can't cover your variable costs... thus, why older aircraft may be more justifiable for certain segments (e.g. Allegiant, or in Delta's case, seasonal adjustments to NRT flying).
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AirbusA6
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 9:17 am

The big variable is the price of fuel, if it stays high or goes up then 744s will be very expensive to run, and mainline airlines will want to replace them pretty quickly. As is shown by the red ink around at the moment, the oil price is ruining their bottom line.
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 11:32 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 32):
NW did heavily utilize the 744; they were constantly airborne but flew such long flights that they accumulated few cycles.

While they did fly a lot of long flights, they also did have some pretty substantial ground times between turns. At all the beyond Asia flights they would sit for 6-10 hours as a RON. When they used to do JFK-NRT, they'd sit for 23 hours between turns in JFK (except when they tried tagging an AMS flight on in the middle). They've had 744s in and out of desert storage since 9/11. For periods of time they'd rolling park 1-2 frames at DTW for days on end since they only have needed 9-10 frames to fly the schedule,

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 32):
(e.g. Allegiant, or in Delta's case, seasonal adjustments to NRT flying).

Lately the 744 flying has been pretty consistent year-round. It has been the West Coast-Asia on 767 & A330 and the "beyond NRT" flying from DTW that they consistently change gauge and frequency during the winter.
 
EL-AL
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Quoting Alnicocunife (Thread starter):
It appears the everyone is retiring their 747-400 for conversion to cargo or scrap

El Al will fly it's B744s till their wings will fall off. No new wide body order in sight.
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compensateme
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 3:02 pm

Quoting PSU.DTW.SCE (Reply 34):
While they did fly a lot of long flights, they also did have some pretty substantial ground times between turns. At all the beyond Asia flights they would sit for 6-10 hours as a RON.

Until the SARS epidemic, the 744 were flown on Interport segments regularly; it wasn't until after the cancellation of JFK-NRT did the 744 type have slack. In my mind, these were recent events relative to the initial deliveries and the abortion of NW by DL, but I can see how one might not concur.
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Rdh3e
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 3:28 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 9):
Is UA doing any sort of cabin mod to theirs?
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 12):
UA already modified them to flat business in 2007-2009.

Business and First are brand new, but Economy is lacking on IFE which is why UA is putting a wireless entertainment system in them. You just connect to it with your laptop or whatever and it gives you all the movies etc. I think they should probably do in-seat power at the same time, but that was never announced.
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:29 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 10):
Can we get a list of who still flies the 744 & how many?


http://www.airfleets.net/listing/listing.htm

No separate file for the -400 specifically, but narrowing the search to aircraft built from 1988 to 2010?11? will get you mostly -400 series (mixed with a fair bit of -200F)=. "active" status are the ones you want.

Note, you can then click on the operator and get to their fleet details, where you'll find how many -400 they are currently flying.

[Edited 2012-05-11 09:32:41]
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:48 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 15):
perhaps the 777-300LR if it ever comes to pass.

Transpac wasthe only person that gave pretty good explanation why the T7 wouldn't be an absolute slam dunk replacemet for the 744; based on how DL uses them. This was quite a while back but mayb you wouldn't mind

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 16):
According to one of the flight ops updates published by the company back in February, the 747-400 will be in the DL fleet until 2018-2020.

The author of the update said he gets asked frequently if the 744 will be retired in the near future and he said the answer is simply "no", and that DL wouldn't be investing staggering amounts of money into cabin refurbs unless they wouldn't see a substantial ROI, which puts final retirement at the end of this decade.

About the time the 88s will be out the door. Last date I saw being thrown around was 2017/2018 for a gradual, steady retirement. 3-5 per month would do the trick.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):


Nice!!!

[quote=B757forever,reply=21]When the last DL 747-400 is flown to the desert, the pilots will most likely return home on some version of a Douglas twin jet! Somebody had to say it...

They will come back on a 717  
Quoting Coronado (Reply 29):
You have to admit that watching how Delta manages its fleet is certainly not boring. And the 744's look as good in the new Delta climbing widget livery as they did on their original NWA launch colors.

Yep! There's nothing boring about the fleet. 319s, 320s, MD88s, MD90s, 73Gs, 738s,739s (soon), 752s, 753s, 763s (straight wing), 76Ws, 764s, T7s, A332s, 333s, 747s...CR2s, CR7s, CR9s, 170s, 175s...
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B747forever
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 4:51 pm

Work Hard, Fly Right
 
airbazar
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 5:06 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 4):
With a fleet of over 50 744s still flying, BA will be one of the last major carriers retiring the 747-400.

I woudn't be so sure. Unlike DL, BA is receiving 77W's and A380's both of which are viable replacements for the 744 and cheaper to operate. It's also worth noting that US carriers tend to hold on to their equipment a lot longer.
 
B747forever
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Fri May 11, 2012 6:05 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 41):
Unlike DL, BA is receiving 77W's and A380's both of which are viable replacements for the 744 and cheaper to operate

BA has 12 A380s on order and 24 787s, and I believe that they have received all their 77W. The 787s will mainly replace the 767s, so BA will need much more metal to replace all their 744s. As they have not placed any new order that can cover all their 50+ 744s I expect to see that fleet fly well into 2020.
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henpol747
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 12:41 am

Isn't JAL one of the largest 744 operators ou there?? so, may be they will have the last flying 744's . . . .

Who knows?

Cheers,

henpol747
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B757Forever
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 12:46 am

Quoting henpol747 (Reply 43):
Isn't JAL one of the largest 744 operators ou there

I believe that JAL has parked all their 747 aircraft since their BK.
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deltacto
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 1:03 am

Quoting henpol747 (Reply 43):
Isn't JAL one of the largest 744 operators ou there?? so, may be they will have the last flying 744's . . . .
Quoting B757forever (Reply 44):
I believe that JAL has parked all their 747 aircraft since their BK.

Correct, JAL no longer has any 747's

http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/Japan-Airlines
 
madog
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 4:14 am

In terms of age by years, I believe that CHina Airlines has the last pax 744 built and was delivered ten years ago.

Dont forget another large 744 operator is CX, CX Has a fleet of 21 747's and still operates the second oldest RR 747-400 in its fleet (B-HOP), while the very first 747-400 in their fleet (B-HOO) was scrapped.

I think we'll see the CX 744's in the fleet for quite some time, despite the size will be down to 12 from 21 in the next few years.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 4:59 am

Even with the recent lowered utilization, DL's oldest ten 744s won't be flying for too many more years. However the other six are quite young for 747 standards. It will be interesting to see what DL does with the younger 747s once the oldest ten become too old to economically maintain.
 
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 5:08 am

Quoting madog (Reply 46):
In terms of age by years, I believe that CHina Airlines has the last pax 744 built and was delivered ten years ago.

The last PAX 744 was delivered to CI in 2005 so around 7 years ago. They have 3 others delivered in 2004/05.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 47):
Even with the recent lowered utilization, DL's oldest ten 744s won't be flying for too many more years

As disscussed in this thread they do mainly fly long haul routes with a lower utilization these days than a few years ago. They are spending big $$$ upgrading them in both J and Y class so unless fuel costs become to high I'd say they will be around atleast 4-5 more years maybe longer.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: When Will Delta Be The Only 747-400 Operator?

Sat May 12, 2012 5:12 am

The last pax 744 operator will probably be a third-world carrier, much as was the case for the 747 and DC-10. Does Biman Bangladesh still have their DC-10?
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