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Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:00 pm
by mafaky
It's pretty much clear that many airlines have either already retired their b777-200er fleets (e.g. MAS), or will be retiring these during 2017-2018 era (e.g Saudia). Looks like there are no second hand buyers/users, around...

Will these be stored in Majove, or go straight to the boneyard or is there any likelyhood (technically and commercially) they may be converted into freighters for another extended 12-15 years of flying?

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:08 pm
by flybynight
It seems amazing to me that earlier 777's might be getting scrapped. Such a well-made plane with performance, economy and comfort.
With the 777 very much in production, I would imagine a lot of them will be converted to freighters or end up as charters perhaps. Since these are long-haul planes, the frames have less stress than say a comparable 737. MD90 or A320.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:09 pm
by EddieDude
AM is retiring its small 77E subfleet of four aircraft. Two were delivered brand new to AM's specs and two were brought in after RG imploded. I believe the two that were delivered brand new (Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo) should still have plenty of life left, but I have no idea who will be getting them. With respect to the two ex-RG birds, I don't know if they will be transferred to another carrier of if they will be taken to the desert.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:25 pm
by Revelation
mafaky wrote:
It's pretty much clear that many airlines have either already retired their b777-200er fleets (e.g. MAS), or will be retiring these during 2017-2018 era (e.g Saudia). Looks like there are no second hand buyers/users, around...

Will these be stored in Majove, or go straight to the boneyard or is there any likelyhood (technically and commercially) they may be converted into freighters for another extended 12-15 years of flying?


We see a lot of every scenario. Some airlines with relatively small fleets who bought replacements when fuel was high are parking them, others are spending millions putting new interiors into them and expect them to only retire them once they have 20+ years service. Some airlines like MAS have their own unique problems.

A bit of googling would tell you that it isn't going to be that easy to do a 777 pax to freighter conversion (none are yet approved yet IIRC Boeing is developing one), and right now the air freight market is in a very depressed state, so that is no real savior for the aging 777 fleet.

You also may find viewtopic.php?t=599637 is of interest.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:25 pm
by mercure1
There is no 777-200 freighter conversion program.

It will be hard conversion process especially if for standard freight operators due 777 structural design that utilized carbon fiber floors which do not have the required load bearing for freighters.

Might be an option for lower density package operators, but then the issue is the 777-200 is a lot of frame for the volume. Airbus A330P2F is likely better option then in many cases being lighter aircraft.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:31 pm
by na
Almost all of EKs, MAS and SQs 772 and 77E subfleets are stored already. We are talking about dozens of planes, some have been scrapped over the past few years and for sure many of those baking in the sun will meet the same fate rather soon. And there are only a few which have found a new home, often after long periods of storage. China Southern also has some 77Es which are being parted-out, their older 77As however soldier on for now. Surprisingly Transaeros old 777s, among them even some otherwise totally unwanted 77As, have mostly found new operators in Russia (Rossiya and Vim), but JAL, Air China and ANA, all have begun scrapping their older 772s as well, JAL an EK even have started to phase out and scrap their 773 subfleets (EK has just retired their first one, A6-EMO, and all will be gone in a years time). No doubt from now on every year dozens of 777 will vanish in scrapyards. Lets face it, if they are approaching 20 years of age and are being retired by their original owners most wont find a new home. The flood of new widebodies and the trend away from secondhand buying over the past 15 years brings down the average service life of those planes.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:54 pm
by b747400erf
mercure1 wrote:
There is no 777-200 freighter conversion program.

It will be hard conversion process especially if for standard freight operators due 777 structural design that utilized carbon fiber floors which do not have the required load bearing for freighters.

Might be an option for lower density package operators, but then the issue is the 777-200 is a lot of frame for the volume. Airbus A330P2F is likely better option then in many cases being lighter aircraft.


There is a program it is that no one has used it because there is too much capacity in the freight market.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:08 pm
by Sooner787
IIRC, BA has said they plan to operate their 77E's for 30 years, so the oldest
won't be retired for another 8-9 years.

I am wondering how long AA will hang onto their 77E's with all the 789's and A359's they
have coming in the next decade

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:21 pm
by Stitch
Boeing has been floating a Boeing Converted Freighter program for the 777 family, however lack of feed-stock and the need to replace the floor means that it's very expensive (a converted 777-200ER would probably run you what a new A330-200F would). As more airframes are removed from passenger service, that will help the acquisition costs, but the conversion costs will remain high.

777 spares prices are still pretty high, so a number of still-viable frames have been parted-out as their value is more in pieces than in a complete plane. Some 777 retirements have been due to the planes reaching high hours / high cycles (Japan Airlines, Emirates) which means their maintenance costs are only increasing. Others are retiring small sub-fleets to streamline their fleets on fewer families / models. And then there are frames like Singapore Airline's which have a smaller aft cargo door that can only take LD43s and not cargo pallets, which makes them less-desirable.

With fuel prices low again (and looking to stay that way), that may slow the rate of 777 retirements as the airframe is still efficient in such an environment (especially if configured in a denser 7J / 10Y cabin).

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:30 pm
by PM
For those of us who remember the "Good old B777-200ER" entering service - indeed, those who can recall when it was the 777-200IGW - the idea that it's "old" and at the end of its life is astonishing.

Oh, and did I mention that more -200ERs were built with RR (168) than either PW (93) or GE (161)? :mrgreen:

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:32 pm
by OA412
PM wrote:
For those of us who remember the "Good old B777-200ER" entering service - indeed, those who can recall when it was the 777-200IGW - the idea that it's "old" and at the end of its life is astonishing.

Oh, and did I mention that more -200ERs were built with RR (168) than either PW (93) or GE (161)? :mrgreen:

Indeed! I recall watching Boeing's 777 documentary like it was yesterday, yet it was over 20 years ago now.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:00 pm
by spyglass
Shoot, I can remember when the first 7-OH-7's (and DC8's, and CV880's & 990's, et al) came out......military craft (F-4, F-105 & F-106, B-58, etc) that entered service, not to mention light planes (Aztec, 310, Comanche, Twin Bonanza, Aero Commander). Things aren't nearly as interesting (or exciting) today.

Re: Retiring good old b777-200er

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:49 pm
by jeffrey0032j
na wrote:
Almost all of EKs, MAS and SQs 772 and 77E subfleets are stored already. We are talking about dozens of planes, some have been scrapped over the past few years and for sure many of those baking in the sun will meet the same fate rather soon. And there are only a few which have found a new home, often after long periods of storage. China Southern also has some 77Es which are being parted-out, their older 77As however soldier on for now. Surprisingly Transaeros old 777s, among them even some otherwise totally unwanted 77As, have mostly found new operators in Russia (Rossiya and Vim), but JAL, Air China and ANA, all have begun scrapping their older 772s as well, JAL an EK even have started to phase out and scrap their 773 subfleets (EK has just retired their first one, A6-EMO, and all will be gone in a years time). No doubt from now on every year dozens of 777 will vanish in scrapyards. Lets face it, if they are approaching 20 years of age and are being retired by their original owners most wont find a new home. The flood of new widebodies and the trend away from secondhand buying over the past 15 years brings down the average service life of those planes.

SQ still has quite a handful of 772ERs and derated 772ERs (referred to as 772 by SQ) in their fleet.

Both of Transaero 772As are still listed as stored by planespotters.net.