nema
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BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:20 am

Sad news to hear that BA are planning their future without the 747 aircraft as part of their fleet.

Not just sad in my opinion, but surprising too. I am not sure that the available alternatives fill all of the gaps appropriately that the 747 covers for BA.

Here is the article...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...deal-buy-18-Boeing-aeroplanes.html

and also

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/busine...tries/transport/article3730473.ece

[Edited 2013-04-06 01:22:40]
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SASMD82
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:28 am

Quoting nema (Thread starter):
Not just sad in my opinion

Oh well, nostalgia. That's the word that comes in my mind. In my opinion this plane has come to the end of its life. The 77W has already proven to be an excellent replacement aircraft, especially in combination with the A380.

So a future fleet of BA where the 787 will replace the 767s, the 77X the last 747s and 77Ws (as the last in row) and the A359/A3510 the 772 will be very likely I think.

As a cargo plane, the 747 can still have a longer life.
 
United Airline
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:28 am

I think we will see BA operating the B 747-400 for another 10 years. So don't worry.

And I guess they will eventually order more A380s in addition to the firm/option orders they have
 
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scbriml
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:31 am

Given that BA chose the A380 rather than the 748 this is pretty much "non news".

I've flown on a couple very recently and they're looking pretty tired.
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nema
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:36 am

Quoting SASMD82 (Reply 1):
In my opinion this plane has come to the end of its life

Hi, you maybe right, i don't know. Different capacities v routes v costs are a consideration. Its not only been an amazing aircraft but pilots love it too. Hark at me, already talking about it in a past tense and it will be here for years to come yet.

Can any A-netters see Virgin Atlantic moving in the same direction?
There isnt really a dark side to the moon, as a matter of fact its all dark!
 
DeltaXNA
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:48 am

Wow! When I think of British Airways I think of a 747 taking off from LHR. The thought of that airline without 747's is not quite, but kind of like southwest without 737s in their fleet. Both aircraft types are symbols of those airlines.

The 777-300ER is awesome, I love it. But it isn't the 747. The 747 will always be the queen of the skies. The A380 will never even be part of the "royal family of airplanes."
 
bthebest
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:11 am

Both articles seem to be gesticulating at 747 retirement due to the 787 order but with no actual quote supporting it? They seem to be making the jump from new plane order to oldest aircraft retirement, and whilst the fleet may be shuffled round, i can't see the 787 directly replacing and 747 services.
 
babybus
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:00 am

I have to agree with some of the other posters, those BA 744s are looking very worn out. They will look even worse when compared to the all new A380s when they arrive.

It's also time to say goodbye to the 767s, in my opinion.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
kaitak
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:06 am

Quoting bthebest (Reply 6):
They seem to be making the jump from new plane order to oldest aircraft retirement, and whilst the fleet may be shuffled round, i can't see the 787 directly replacing and 747 services

My feeling too; although the end of the 747 at BA is definitely in sight (as it is with most carriers), they will not be replaced by the 787, not even the -10. There is still a long way to go. The 747-400 fleet has long since started to be run down from its peak and I do agree that it will probably go on for several years to come - hopefully until 2020, which would mark fifty years of service since BOAC first introduced the 747-100.

Long term, I see BA operating quite a complex long haul fleet, with A380s, A350-1000/900 and 787-8/9s; they might even find room for the 777X.

At the end of the day, all aircraft come with a time limit; in decades to come, our successors on this site will be wondering when BA will be retiring their worn out A350s and 787s (along with the usual threads about AF washing their planes, IB training its long haul crews to be nice and CX getting A380s!)
 
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RayChuang
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:10 pm

I think BA's long-haul fleet replacement for the 747-400 will be a mix of A380-800's and A350XWB-1000's. BA's small 777-300ER fleet may end up with another airline once the A350XWB-1000's start arriving probably in 2018.
 
nclmedic
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:19 pm

Quoting kaitak (Reply 8):
At the end of the day, all aircraft come with a time limit; in decades to come, our successors on this site will be wondering when BA will be retiring their worn out A350s and 787s (along with the usual threads about AF washing their planes, IB training its long haul crews to be nice and CX getting A380s!)

Spot on!

I agree that while sad, times have to move on. LHR definitely won't be same without the rows of 744s, but from a company and passenger perspective this is all good news.
 
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WesternDC6B
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:02 pm

Quoting babybus (Reply 7):
It's also time to say goodbye to the 767s, in my opinion.

Not from my viewpoint. I like flying on 767s because they seem to have the least-uncomfortable arrangements for those of us who must - by company policy - fly in steerage. I'd rather be in an "old-fashioned" 767 and be somewhat comfortable than in a modern, state of the art 777 with too many seats crammed into a row (I'm pointing at *you*, KLM!), or modern, state of the art 330s or 340s with entertainment equipment the size of small carry-ons blocking what little foot-room there is (KLM, Lufthansa, and several others). Why so big? Are they still using vacuum tubes?!? ("Valves" for our English cousins.)

I know that those things can vary by airline, but it seems to be my lot in life to encounter those conditions on those aircraft. The out-moded, unfashionable 767s I've been on don't seem to have these issues.
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Stitch
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:38 pm

Quoting nema (Thread starter):
Not just sad in my opinion, but surprising too.

Not a surprise to me. The 747-400 is just far too inefficient in today's environment with the cost of fuel and maintenance. The 747-8 has a fuel-burn advantage, but I do not believe it has the maintenance benefits in terms of time between major services compared to modern twins and the A380.

I tend to think the decision between the A350-1000 and 777-9 will be a "winner take all" like the 747-8 and A380-800 decision was. I say this because the 777-9 will be a better 747-400 replacement in terms of capacity, especially for the High-J models. However, the A350-1000 would push up yields on routes currently operated by Low-J 747-400s because it can offer the same number of First seats with more Club World and World Traveller Plus seats and over 10% less World Traveller seats (which will restrict supply and raise the average fare as the cheapest travelers will go elsewhere).
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting WesternDC6B (Reply 11):
I'd rather be in an "old-fashioned" 767 and be somewhat comfortable than in a modern, state of the art 777 with too many seats crammed into a row (I'm pointing at *you*, KLM!), or modern, state of the art 330s or 340s with entertainment equipment the size of small carry-ons blocking what little foot-room there is (KLM, Lufthansa, and several others). Why so big? Are they still using vacuum tubes?!? ("Valves" for our English cousins.)

Just speaking of KLM, I can't say enough good about their MD11s if we must ride Y-class. It's really a shame there are so few of them now; it's actually a great twin aisle from the PAX point of view...

But yes, I agree about the 767s too.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 8):
At the end of the day, all aircraft come with a time limit; in decades to come, our successors on this site will be wondering when BA will be retiring their worn out A350s and 787s (along with the usual threads about AF washing their planes, IB training its long haul crews to be nice and CX getting A380s!)

"Yes, the Embraer E-550 may have unbeatable CASM, but we have to remember that BA's gas guzzling 35Js & 789s are paid for, which is worth noting, even if, as a passenger, I have to say that that ancient LED lighting and two-dimensional IFE are pretty shabby"
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BlueSky1976
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 9):
I think BA's long-haul fleet replacement for the 747-400 will be a mix of A380-800's and A350XWB-1000's
Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
I tend to think the decision between the A350-1000 and 777-9 will be a "winner take all" like the 747-8 and A380-800 decision was.

I still think that BA will need an aircraft to fit between their A380s and A350-1000s capacity-wise. Their A380s will carry around 450 passengers, 747s carry between 290 and 350 people and 77Ws are configured for around 310 seats.

If they decide to put 300 seats in A350-1000, they will need to fill in the 150-seat gap with another aircraft. That's where 777-9X will fit nicely.

Time will tell.
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B747forever
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:13 pm

Unfortunately this was inevitable. It will truly be a sad day when the last 747-400 leaves the fleet, as it will mark the end of an era. The 747 has served BA very well, and it is a pity that the 748i doesn't fit in their future fleet.
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treebeard787
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:47 pm

Well, I guess BA289 LHR-PHX and BA288 PHX-LHR will be flown by a 777 once the 744s are retired. I will miss seeing the Queen Of The Skies in the desert. I suppose it is inevitable though.
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baldwin471
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:55 pm

Sad, but exciting at the same time. Will be sad not seeing her around, but looking forward to seeing what BA actually decide to buy. Would love to see the A351 and 779X and A388 in BA colours.
 
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Stitch
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:04 pm

Quoting BlueSky1976 (Reply 14):
I still think that BA will need an aircraft to fit between their A380s and A350-1000s capacity-wise...If they decide to put 300 seats in A350-1000, they will need to fill in the 150-seat gap with another aircraft. That's where 777-9X will fit nicely.

But as others have noted, BA have operated with large gaps in seating capacity between their widebody families.

The 767-300ER seats 189 in three classes, the 787-8 214 and the 777-200ER ~279 (averaging the various configurations).

The 777-200ER seats ~222 in four-classes, the 777-300ER seats 297, the 747-400 seats ~295 in High-J / 345 in Low-J and the A380-800 seats 469.

Looking at future planes in four classes, figure:

787-9: 219 seats [ 14 F | 48 CW | 40 WT+ | 117 WT ]
787-10: 256 seats [ 14 F | 56 CW | 40 WT+ | 144 WT ]
777-8: 275 seats (at 10-abreast) [ 14 F | 56 CW | 40 WT+ | 165 WT ]
A350-1000: 297 seats [ 14 F | 56 CW | 44 WT+ | 183 WT ]
777-9: 335 seats (at 10-abreast) [ 14 F | 56 CW | 44 WT+ | 221 WT ]

Speaking strictly on seat counts, IMO the 777-8 and 777-9 would be the best choices to "plug the gap" between the 787-9 and A380-800, but they require 10-abreast to do so. Now, if BA can use the same seats on the 747-400 on the 777-8 and 777-9, passenger comfort won't be any different then it is now.
 
jumpjets
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:12 pm

Don't forget the BA world cargo 747 -8Fs flying around - I know they are flown on behalf of BA but at least they are still in the BA livery.
 
jcavinato
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:33 pm

These ships were long a symbol of the height of the industry, and in the 1990s BA was one of the top carriers in many regards.

I remember arriving one morning into LHR from JFK on #176 and we were taxiing to Terminal 4. Every gate was filled with only BA's 747s. I wished I had had a camera out for that shot. Perfect symmetry, and Terminal 4 was still had its new and high appeal.
 
baldwin471
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:35 pm

Quoting jcavinato (Reply 20):
I remember arriving one morning into LHR from JFK on #176 and we were taxiing to Terminal 4. Every gate was filled with only BA's 747s. I wished I had had a camera out for that shot. Perfect symmetry, and Terminal 4 was still had its new and high appeal.

I can't imagine a new looking T4.
 
windowflyer
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:48 pm

Quoting DeltaXNA (Reply 5):
Wow! When I think of British Airways I think of a 747 taking off from LHR.

Me too, but in my case it's POS.

Always looked foward to seeing her when I would visit Piarco Airport as a child.
Along similar lines, as a kid growing up in Queens NY. I would ride to the Belt Pkwy. & Lefferts Blvd. junction to see the BA Concorde fly over whenever 13L was in use.
It's hard to believe Concorde has been out of the fleet now for almost 10 years. The Queen's departure from the fleet will be equally unimagineable.
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ssteve
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:59 pm

A BA 747 (the one each day) always seems to be catching the setting sun around here in SEA. Just a big lumbering awesome plane on approach.
 
bmacleod
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:03 pm

I think this was previously indicated when BA placed their A380 order. Still was hoping to see 748i in BA livery.

BA Cargo 747-8F does look nice though,....
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Viscount724
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:32 pm

Quoting kaitak (Reply 8):
hopefully until 2020, which would mark fifty years of service since BOAC first introduced the 747-100.

Almost but not quite. 2020 would mark 49 years since BOAC put the 747-100 into service. Inaugural flight was April 14, 1971. They took delivery of their first 747-100 a year earlier in April 1970 but the first few aircraft had to be parked for a year since their pilots refused to fly them due to a long dispute over salaries and working conditions. It gave many of BOAC's major competitors a big competitive advantage during that year when they were operating the 747 and BOAC wasn't. By the time the dispute was resolved they had 6 741s parked.
 
BOACCunard
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:33 pm

I'm mystified that anyone is surprised by this. The 747 in passenger configuration is no longer an indispensable aircraft for BA or almost any airline (though there may be a very few carriers who find that the 748 fills an indispensable niche). Many, maybe even most major operators of the 744 in passenger configuration have already started the process of replacing them, and the 748 is barely ever one of the chosen replacements. It has most commonly been the 77W (an aircraft that, however boring enthusiasts find it, fully replaces the 744 in virtually every way and improves on it in many), sometimes in combination with the A388, though as time goes on there are more options. JL, which a decade ago was the world's largest 747 operator (an honor held by BA today), has retired its entire 747 fleet. So has SQ (though the quasi-separate SQ Cargo hasn't). Many others have already announced their intention to retire all their passenger 747s, even including QF, which like BA, JL, and SQ, is an airline that would have been hard to imagine without them not long ago. I don't know why anyone should think BA is special and somehow needs the passenger 747 more than all these other airlines. A few airlines will keep their passenger 744s longer than most, largely because they tend to keep aircraft a long time (I can imagine DL being one), a few will carry on the tradition with the 748, but by the early 2020s, major airlines operating passenger 747s will mostly be pretty rare. I would go so far as to say that if someone were able to offer every passenger 744 operator a one-for-one replacement of every one of its passenger 744s tomorrow with a brand new 77W at no cost, I'd be surprised if any of them didn't accept, BA included. (Of course that's not how the real world works, but my point is that few if any of the airlines operating passenger 744s have them because it is, strictly speaking, the best airplane for them.)
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Max Q
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:43 pm

Replacing 747's with 787's !!!


What a ridiculous article.
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N62NA
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:37 pm

Quoting bthebest (Reply 6):
Both articles seem to be gesticulating at 747 retirement due to the 787 order but with no actual quote supporting it?

Shoddy "journalism" (if you can even call it that).

Quoting kaitak (Reply 8):
At the end of the day, all aircraft come with a time limit

Except it seems the 737... They'll be flying at least another 50 years.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
Replacing 747's with 787's !!!


What a ridiculous article.

Yep.
 
BOACCunard
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:12 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 28):
Except it seems the 737... They'll be flying at least another 50 years.

Well, 50 years is still a time limit.  

I think the 747 has a bright future... As a cargo airplane. Of course, at the time it was originally developed, it was assumed that what's happening to the 747 in the 2010s would happen to it in the 1980s! It's just that it's not being replaced by faster airplanes, but more fuel efficient ones.

But really, the 737 did to the 727 the same thing the 777 is now doing to the 747.
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point2point
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:11 pm

Quoting treebeard787 (Reply 16):
Well, I guess BA289 LHR-PHX and BA288 PHX-LHR will be flown by a 777 once the 744s are retired. I will miss seeing the Queen Of The Skies in the desert. I suppose it is inevitable though.
Quoting SSTeve (Reply 23):
A BA 747 (the one each day) always seems to be catching the setting sun around here in SEA. Just a big lumbering awesome plane on approach.
Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):

Replacing 747's with 787's !!!


What a ridiculous article.

Actually, maybe there could be daily doubles of 787s at both SEA and PHX? Have the flights leave a few hours apart......

Although with all of the efficiencies of the 787, it still would be wiser cost-wise for BA (or any carrier) to send in one jumbo in these markets then rather two 787s.

 
 
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DocLightning
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:21 pm

Quoting point2point (Reply 30):
Although with all of the efficiencies of the 787, it still would be wiser cost-wise for BA (or any carrier) to send in one jumbo in these markets then rather two 787s.

The 787 has lower CASM than the 744 and if you have to have the infrastructure in place for one daily flight, then it doesn't cost more to have it in place for two. The landing fees scale linearly, but most other costs are incremental.
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EricR
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:32 pm

Quoting point2point (Reply 30):
Actually, maybe there could be daily doubles of 787s at both SEA and PHX? Have the flights leave a few hours apart.


That would mean twice the number of aircraft utilized, twice the number of flight crews, twice the amount of fuel (2 flights), twice the number of LHR slots, etc., etc. It doesn't sound like an economical solution.
 
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Stitch
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:41 pm

I seem to recall a daily 747 and 777 between SEA and LHR during the high season....

A single 787-10 during the low season and two 787-10s during the high season might not be such a silly idea...
 
rwy04lga
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:47 pm

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 13):
"Yes, the Embraer E-550 may have unbeatable CASM, but we have to remember that BA's gas guzzling 35Js & 789s are paid for, which is worth noting, even if, as a passenger, I have to say that that ancient LED lighting and two-dimensional IFE are pretty shabby"

OK, at first I thought 'WHAT???' Then the penny dropped.

Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 29):
I think the 747 has a bright future... As a cargo airplane.

LOL, that's what it was designed to be in the first place!

My first 747 was on a BOAC 747....JFK-LHR...STD2000 17/12/1971...ATD0100 18/12/71. I was UMNR. Someone PLEASE find the reg for me! G-AWNH was just delivered a month earlier, so only 8 possibilities.
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nightfox365
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:50 am

I was looking at the technical details the dailymail put up, and found the max ranges a bit odd. Check boeing.com against the ranges the dailymail posted and you will see what I mean.
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dennys
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:53 am

This is a great sad news. It is harly possible to imagine BA without any 747 .
At least , i was hopping for the 747-8i for BA .

Why did BA stopped talking part in the 747-500X développement in 1996-1997 ?

It could have convinced more airlines to buy it .

It could have more competed with the A380

By the way A380 nor 77X shall ever be Queen of The Skies like the 747 or 707 .

Sorry about That
 
BestWestern
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:35 am

Quoting EricR (Reply 32):
Actually, maybe there could be daily doubles of 787s at both SEA and PHX? Have the flights leave a few hours apart.

The 787s will be used to grow long haul destinations and use the multitude of slots BA acquired when they bought BMI. Heathrow is slot constrained, so the glory of double daily to SEA and PHX is not a runner, especially when there is no market or competitive reason.

The 787s will be used to open up many East Asian (TPE), Indian Subcontinent (CCU), secondary cities in the US (BDL, MSY) and Latin America (BOG), alongside many Asian cities, such as Jakarta.
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frigatebird
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:51 am

Quoting kaitak (Reply 8):
Long term, I see BA operating quite a complex long haul fleet, with A380s, A350-1000/900 and 787-8/9s; they might even find room for the 777X.

I'm quite sure BA will also operate the 787-10, certainly after their recent additional order for 18 787s. The 777X, not likely IMO because:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
BA have operated with large gaps in seating capacity between their widebody families.

, but with:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
A350-1000: 297 seats [ 14 F | 56 CW | 44 WT+ | 183 WT ]
777-9: 335 seats (at 10-abreast) [ 14 F | 56 CW | 44 WT+ | 221 WT ]

I don't think the gap between A350-1000 and 777-9 would be enough to justify acquiring the latter. The only saving grace I can see for the 777X is that BA could still fly their current 777s for quite while still, certainly after EIS of the 777X I think. Which would make transition to the 777X easier. Question is however, how much commonality the 777X will have with the current 772 and 77W
   Therefore:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
I tend to think the decision between the A350-1000 and 777-9 will be a "winner take all" like the 747-8 and A380-800 decision was.

I have to agree fully...
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readytotaxi
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:15 pm

Gonna miss that cosy quiet Club World upper deck.   
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by738
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:30 pm

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 37):
so the glory of double daily to SEA and PHX is not a runner, especially when there is no market or competitive reason.

Interesting considering SEA has been upped to double daily on some days during the summer
 
BestWestern
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:06 pm

Quoting by738 (Reply 40):
Interesting considering SEA has been upped to double daily on some days during the summer

Which will make this the perfect A380 route for the summer - and to South Africa in the winter. There is no competitive reason why BA should go twice daily, with the exception of loads if one bigger aircraft will do. Same for HKG where the window for competitive flight times ex HKG is about 90 minutes every evening.
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Stitch
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:25 pm

Quoting dennys (Reply 36):
Why did BA stopped talking part in the 747-500X développement in 1996-1997?

They were actually looking at the 747-600X and the reasons given were as wanting to instead focus on merging TATL services with American Airlines and turning BA into a "virtual airline".



Quoting frigatebird (Reply 38):
I don't think the gap between A350-1000 and 777-9 would be enough to justify acquiring the latter.

On the flip side, the gap between the A350-1000 and 787-10 and 777-9 might not be enough to justify acquiring the former...

It seems clear that IB will operate the A350-900 and A350-1000, so even if BA chooses the 777X, IAG will have the benefit of all three families in their fleet. And it seems that "cross-polination" might occur later on with the 787 at IB, so BA may get some A350s down the road, as well.
 
vv701
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 4:26 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 27):
Replacing 747's with 787's !!!What a ridiculous article.

Why? It is exactly what IAG said in their Press Release:

"IAG plans to convert 18 existing Boeing 787s options into firm orders for British Airways. They will be used to replace some of the airline's Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2021."

The full Press Release may be viewed here:

http://www.iairgroup.com/phoenix.zht...rticle_Print&ID=1803234&highlight=

It is also important to understand the history. Here there are three aspects.

Why did BA buy the 744?

With the current BA 747 fleet of 52 in-service 744s being less than two-thirds of the size of the BA 747 fleet of around 13 years ago, with what aircraft did BA replace those retired 747s?

When is the last BA 744 likely to be retired?

In August 1986 BA ordered sixteen 744s and took options on a further twelve of the type. The over riding factor in this choice was range. It needed an aircraft that could operate non-stop to key long haul destinations in Asia (and on to Australia) and South America with a full load of passengers and freight. That had to be the 744. Relatively speaking the size of the aircraft was a minor consideration if BA was to remain competitive.

In total BA ordered sixty-six 744s. However nine of these aircraft were never delivered after BA converted their orders to the significantly smaller 772.

When the last BA 744 was delivered in April 1999 BA had an operational fleet of 57 744s, 16 742s and 10 741s, a total of 83 aircraft. The last 741s (7 aircraft) were all retired at the end of the 1999 Summer Season reducing the 747 fleet to 76. The last of the 742s (11 aircraft) were retired two years later in September or very early October 2001 with retirements likely accelerated by the 9/11 outrage. The reduction in the operating fleet of 31 747s from a high of 83 in Summer 1999 to 52 today has been achieved by replacing them with a small number (six) 77Ws plus a significant fleet (19) of RR powered 772s and not with an alternative VLA.

As already mentioned the last 747 delivery to BA was in April 1999. It was the sixth 744 they had received that year. It was the eighth delivered in the six months ending April 1999. The last published accounts for BA showed that their 744s were being depreciated to a residual (scrap?) value over a 25 year period. This suggests that a possible retirement date for these aircraft could be at the end of the Summer Season 2023. This would give each aircraft an in service life of between 24.5 and 25 years and more than ten more operational years from today. And we know from the recent IAG Press Release that some of the 787s just ordered will be used to replace 744s "between 2017 and 2021".

This, of course, is not to say that ALL BA's 744s will be replaced by the end of that time frame. Indeed with 52 operational 744s plus 21 operational 763s and only 4 77Ws, 36 787s and 12 380s on order, BA has insufficient aircraft on order at this time to replace its 763 and 744 fleets let alone increase its long haul flights utilising some of its ex-BD LHR slots. And then there is the BA 772 fleet. Its oldest 772 will be 17 next month. It is older than quite a few of BA's 744s and will likely need to be replaced in seven years time within that 2017 to 2021 time frame.

So is a twenty five year operational life for BA's 744s a real possibility? Well the first BOAC 741, G-AWNA was delivered to BOAC on 22 April 1970 and was retired by BA just over 28.5 years later on 1 November 1998 when it arrived at LHR as BA068 from PIT. If this were to be repeated with their 744 fleet then their youngest frames would now be only half way through their operational life.
 
romeobravo
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:08 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 43):
"IAG plans to convert 18 existing Boeing 787s options into firm orders for British Airways. They will be used to replace some of the airline's Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2021.

So in other words, BA 747s will be flying for up to 8 years.

Which is a considerably long time, no need to cry just yet.

Though it certainly will be a sad day when they leave for good, i can't disagree with that. We've witness some glorious years at LHR.


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707lvr
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:58 pm

General readers of the article would not even know there is a new 747 model, just two of the more efficient (?) 787 aircraft to carry the same number of people.
 
Viscount724
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:07 pm

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 44):
Quoting VV701 (Reply 43):
"IAG plans to convert 18 existing Boeing 787s options into firm orders for British Airways. They will be used to replace some of the airline's Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2021.

So in other words, BA 747s will be flying for up to 8 years.

Which is a considerably long time, no need to cry just yet.

Could well be earlier depending on external factors. If there's a need to cut capacity to respond to recessions, fuel price spikes, wars, pandemics etc. the 744s will no doubt be the first aircraft to be parked.

[Edited 2013-04-07 14:08:29]
 
ghifty
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:40 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 23):
A BA 747 (the one each day) always seems to be catching the setting sun around here in SEA. Just a big lumbering awesome plane on approach.

BA 49? First 747-400 I've ever seen over Seattle.. absolutely beautiful. I'll definitely miss them.
Fly Delta Jets
 
kaitak
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:04 am

Lots of news agencies covering this story today:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...ng-revamp/articleshow/19436051.cms

The deal is exepected to be for twenty aircraft, model type not yet clear, but we can be pretty sure it won't be for -800s!

Many of the news reports suggest that this will be the kick in the rear end that Boeing needs to launch the 777X, but I think this is pretty imminent anyway.

Assuming the number of orders is correct, this will bring total A350 orders to 637 - a very respectable number.
 
YVRLTN
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RE: BA Plan To End Its 747 Fleet

Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:42 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 42):
Why? It is exactly what IAG said in their Press Release:

"IAG plans to convert 18 existing Boeing 787s options into firm orders for British Airways. They will be used to replace some of the airline's Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2021."

I think with the various sizes of 787's, A350's and A380 BA will be better able to right size aircraft to routes seasonally. Take YVR for example, it is daily 744 in winter and twice daily (or 13 per week...) in summer. Im pretty sure they could use an A350-1000 in winter and in summer use the A380 on one flight and 787-8 or 9 on the other. When you look at it that way, the 787 replaces the 747 at BA.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 13):
Yes, the Embraer E-550 may have unbeatable CASM

Wow, the Phenom 300 would look awesome in BA colors   
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