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Airbus747
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Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 2:36 pm

I'm an OW member, based in UK and really like BA, but when looking at flight results to presumably popular destinations like the US and Middle East, the aircraft scheduled seem to be really, really old.

Why is it so?
Is there some kind of intentional decision made there?
Do they not care about the product/service offered to customers flying on those segments?
Are the customers on those segments less picky?

I was hoping to get a J class flight somewhere soon, but when I saw the equipment age I was quite surprised...
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 2:41 pm

Just a guess....

Maybe because those planes are paid for and new aircraft are a huge capital expenditure.

As long as the interiors are reasonably well maintained who cares?
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 2:43 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
I'm an OW member, based in UK and really like BA, but when looking at flight results to presumably popular destinations like the US and Middle East, the aircraft scheduled seem to be really, really old.

Why is it so?
Is there some kind of intentional decision made there?
Do they not care about the product/service offered to customers flying on those segments?
Are the customers on those segments less picky?

I was hoping to get a J class flight somewhere soon, but when I saw the equipment age I was quite surprised...


How do you know how old an aircraft is? Do most passengers know it? I guess not. Is the aircraft still safe & reliable? Does the cabin looks worn-out or badly maintained? Do passengers get from A to B with the sort of service they paid for?
 
mwhcvt
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 2:43 pm

You do realise aircraft age means nothing to the product or service offers, you could quite easily have a 20 plus year old frame serving a route that’s just been through a full strip down and refurbishment so is like new from a customer prospective or an 5/6 year old frame that’s due it’s first heavy check and cabin overhaul that’s got a tired worn out cabin with broken panels and amenities etc
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)
 
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Airbus747
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:03 pm

But certain frames/models don't have the most advanced IFE, aircraft external cameras and stuff like that right? Or am I wrong?
 
Bongodog49
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:07 pm

mwhcvt wrote:
You do realise aircraft age means nothing to the product or service offers, you could quite easily have a 20 plus year old frame serving a route that’s just been through a full strip down and refurbishment so is like new from a customer prospective or an 5/6 year old frame that’s due it’s first heavy check and cabin overhaul that’s got a tired worn out cabin with broken panels and amenities etc


Exactly, to the OP have a look at the youtube link below and see what happens to each plane approximately every 5 years. A 4 year old plane will probably be tattier than a 16 year old one.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_yHtfGH0nI
 
DarthLobster
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:07 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
But certain frames/models don't have the most advanced IFE, aircraft external cameras and stuff like that right? Or am I wrong?


Again, all this can either be retrofitted during refurbishment or doesn’t matter to the vast majority of passengers.
 
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Airbus747
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:09 pm

I understand about retrofitting, and I understand about the majority of passengers not caring about all the fine details. But what about those who pay for Business and First class? Aren't they usually attracted with the latest bells and whistles?
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:09 pm

The advantage of newer more modern aircraft are not needed on the most popular routes. People will still buy a ticket regardless of the age of the aircraft.

On highly competitive routes you need every edge you can get. The latest most comfortable aircraft can give you that edge.
 
nycilley02
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:09 pm

I might even argue that BA's older aircraft have superior product to the new ones: 777s with 9 abreast in economy (v. 9 abreast on a 787, which is a much narrower aircraft) and 747s with storage bins on the upper deck. With the exception of Y+, seats are essentially the same. I don't think the existence of external cameras matters that much to most people.
 
SEA
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:11 pm

Get on a DL 757 with with a newer cabin and then get on a newer Frontier A320 and ask the pax which plane they think is newer.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:16 pm

Well there are MD's and 717's still flying. The 757 stopped production in 2004 so any 757 is likely to be 20+ years old.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:22 pm

AA has straight-up admitted that the lowest yielding routes get the worst aircraft. That is why places like LIM and AMS see 763's.
 
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LH748
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:22 pm

I'm happily taking an old 744 over any 787.
Fly them as long as they're still around.
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ferminbrif
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:28 pm

I’d say why cannot ?
According to you a 20 + years old plane cannot be used and should be sent to be scrapped or junk graveyard.
I don´t think so as long as the aircraft is good enough and properly maintained to fly
 
Austin787
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:29 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
I understand about retrofitting, and I understand about the majority of passengers not caring about all the fine details. But what about those who pay for Business and First class? Aren't they usually attracted with the latest bells and whistles?

Have some people fly business on a 20 year old AA 777. Then have them fly Club World on a brand new BA 787. Then ask them which seat they think has the latest bells and whistles.
Last edited by Austin787 on Thu May 16, 2019 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
BlueberryWheats
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:31 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
I understand about retrofitting, and I understand about the majority of passengers not caring about all the fine details. But what about those who pay for Business and First class? Aren't they usually attracted with the latest bells and whistles?


I don't think you do understand about retrofitting.

A 20 year old 747 can have all the latest bells and whistles (except some structural things like bigger 787 style windows)
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:33 pm

[*]
usflyer msp wrote:
AA has straight-up admitted that the lowest yielding routes get the worst aircraft. That is why places like LIM and AMS see 763's.


Not the same at BA though. Some of their highest yielding routes have the Boeing 747 on it, partly because of the fact they make so much money, not to mention the configuration on board which helps that.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
planesarecool
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:35 pm

All else being equal, it's better for fuel economy to use your least efficient aircraft on the shortest routes. Which is generally why you'll see BA 747s on the US East Coast, and not in the Far East.

However, all else isn't equal, which is why there are plenty of exceptions.
 
Prost
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:37 pm

In regards to BA specifically, didn’t someone mention that they send the least fuel efficient planes on shorter segments, reserving the newer, more efficient frames for flights that can produce the highest returns?
 
Julie77W
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:40 pm

Newer planes (787/A350) have a much lower cabin altitude levels. This can make a significant difference in port flight fatigue and is something BA and others ought to consider.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 3:41 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
I'm an OW member, based in UK and really like BA, but when looking at flight results to presumably popular destinations like the US and Middle East, the aircraft scheduled seem to be really, really old.

Why is it so?
Is there some kind of intentional decision made there?
Do they not care about the product/service offered to customers flying on those segments?
Are the customers on those segments less picky?

I was hoping to get a J class flight somewhere soon, but when I saw the equipment age I was quite surprised...


Many of the previous answers reflect total ignorance, so I will pitch in.

IMO BA indeed doesn't care about pax on routes where they are sending tired old B744's and B777's because they can fill the aircraft at decent yields using low capital aircraft. The fault is also on the consumer's side. Too few do proper research before selecting a carrier for their flights.
Congratulations, you're not one of them.

It does matter that equipment is new.
Seriously, newer aircraft are miles ahead in terms of levels of noise or general cabin comfort.
Take an old B744. You can refurbish it 2000 times, it's still a noisy B744 making cracking noises throughout the flight.
Cabin refurbishments can also be a downgrade for the passenger experience as more seats are crammed in the same space at every possible opportunity.

To answer the question, BA is offering a poor and worsening product, whether we're talking about new or old aircraft. The old aircraft are still around and BA doesn't care what you think of their tired old B744's as long as you are paying them the big bucks.
Consider other airlines that do care about their passengers, and perhaps BA will realise that they have a problem and fix it so that you don't have to ask this question again in a decade.
 
APYu
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 4:15 pm

Route / fleet assignments are largely based on capacity required, for example New York, requires lots of J seats, hence lots of flights on the super Hi J 747 - all of which are quite old, but have great IFE.
Other route decisions are based on range, e,g BKK is a low yield market requiring lots of Y seats and an aircraft with long range, hence the RR powered 777.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
9Patch
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 4:22 pm

LH748 wrote:
I'm happily taking an old 744 over any 787.
Fly them as long as they're still around.

The worst flight of my life was on a BA 747 from SEA to LHR in coach.
We were in the middle seats. The seat pitch was so small that my legs were pressed against the seat in front of me, and I'm not that tall a person. If something dropped off the meal tray there was no room to reach down and pick it up. It was 9+ hours of misery. I haven't flown on a 787 yet.
 
1989worstyear
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 4:26 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
I'm an OW member, based in UK and really like BA, but when looking at flight results to presumably popular destinations like the US and Middle East, the aircraft scheduled seem to be really, really old.

Why is it so?
Is there some kind of intentional decision made there?
Do they not care about the product/service offered to customers flying on those segments?
Are the customers on those segments less picky?

I was hoping to get a J class flight somewhere soon, but when I saw the equipment age I was quite surprised...


Many of the previous answers reflect total ignorance, so I will pitch in.

IMO BA indeed doesn't care about pax on routes where they are sending tired old B744's and B777's because they can fill the aircraft at decent yields using low capital aircraft. The fault is also on the consumer's side. Too few do proper research before selecting a carrier for their flights.
Congratulations, you're not one of them.

It does matter that equipment is new.
Seriously, newer aircraft are miles ahead in terms of levels of noise or general cabin comfort.
Take an old B744. You can refurbish it 2000 times, it's still a noisy B744 making cracking noises throughout the flight.
Cabin refurbishments can also be a downgrade for the passenger experience as more seats are crammed in the same space at every possible opportunity.

To answer the question, BA is offering a poor and worsening product, whether we're talking about new or old aircraft. The old aircraft are still around and BA doesn't care what you think of their tired old B744's as long as you are paying them the big bucks.
Consider other airlines that do care about their passengers, and perhaps BA will realise that they have a problem and fix it so that you don't have to ask this question again in a decade.


A mid 90s 777 uses the same exact interior and systems as a brand new -300ER, and a 30 year old A320-200 CEO is nearly identical to a CEO rolling off the line today. Look at LH and DL.

A 20 year old pre-88 type is different from a 20 year old post-88 type. Innovation is not what it used to be.
Stuck at age 15 thanks to the certification date of the A320-200 and my parents' decision to postpone having a kid by 3 years. At least there's Dignitas...
 
9Patch
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 4:29 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Consider other airlines that do care about their passengers, and perhaps BA will realise that they have a problem and fix it so that you don't have to ask this question again in a decade.

Often you don't have a choice unless you're willing to fly out of your way and hours to your trip.
 
Galwayman
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 4:56 pm

There’s no EK / QR or any other quality carriers flying between the U.K. and the USA so BA can get away with the tacky 747s ... why waste your best aircraft where there’s no real competition?
 
concordeforever
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 5:18 pm

Get used to it on BA. Willie Walsh has said before that they will keep the 777s for 30 years....
 
Turnhouse1
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 5:37 pm

Some of the BA 77Es are currently quite dated in terms of cabin, but they are currently in the process of fitting a new cabin to these, so to the customer, a 20ish year old G-VIIX could seem a lot more modern than a 10 year old G-YMMX (the YMM series vary in age) I don't think the refits are done purely on age, presumable as a maintenance check is done. BA's Club World product is currently very consistent across their fleet, with slightly larger screens in some newer cabins. Some of the 747s aren't the best, but they're due to retire soon.

The new A350s, 787-10s and 777-X will come with a new Club World (not sure on 77W situation) which will mean there is a division in the fleet. So oddly the currently quite modern 787-8/9 and 380s will have the oldest seats unless/until refits are done.

But as long as hour and cycle limits aren't exceeded, and appropriate maintenance taken, then there is nothing wrong with operating 20+ year old planes.

You can check the age of cabins at http://thebasource.com/
 
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Airbus747
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 5:41 pm

JetBuddy wrote:
On highly competitive routes you need every edge you can get. The latest most comfortable aircraft can give you that edge.


This is an interesting and sensible point. Though isn't somewhere like UK - UAE / Middle East considered competitive? Old 777-200 vs the A380s and A350s of the ME3 :?
 
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vaughanparry
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 6:00 pm

Just seen this on BA Source. Seems that G-YMMC is the first to get the treatment described inc. 10 abreast in Economy but new Panasonic IFE I guess only time will tell us if passengers (in Economy) see that as a fair trade:

http://thebasource.com/british-airways- ... tenance-4/
 
APYu
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 6:10 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
On highly competitive routes you need every edge you can get. The latest most comfortable aircraft can give you that edge.


This is an interesting and sensible point. Though isn't somewhere like UK - UAE / Middle East considered competitive? Old 777-200 vs the A380s and A350s of the ME3 :?


BA know where they can and can’t compete. I’m surprised BA still have up to 3 daily flights to DXB. EKs cost base / frequency / connection opportunities give them a massive edge. A Y ticket to DXB can be around £300. One to India can be almost double that. I know where I’d be focussing.
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
BooDog
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 7:24 pm

Let's simplify. Two airplanes. One is newer and more fuel efficient than the other. Two routes. Famous route that has the aircraft in the air 12 hours a day, and a less popular route that has the aircraft in the air 17 hours a day. The new, more fuel efficient aircraft gets the 17 hour a day route. Putting the older aircraft in the air for more time is burning more fuel, wasting money. A majority of the public does not care about the actual age of the frame.
B1B - best looking aircraft ever.
 
smartplane
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 7:51 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
I'm an OW member, based in UK and really like BA, but when looking at flight results to presumably popular destinations like the US and Middle East, the aircraft scheduled seem to be really, really old.

Why is it so?
Is there some kind of intentional decision made there?
Do they not care about the product/service offered to customers flying on those segments?
Are the customers on those segments less picky?

I was hoping to get a J class flight somewhere soon, but when I saw the equipment age I was quite surprised...


Many of the previous answers reflect total ignorance, so I will pitch in.

IMO BA indeed doesn't care about pax on routes where they are sending tired old B744's and B777's because they can fill the aircraft at decent yields using low capital aircraft. The fault is also on the consumer's side. Too few do proper research before selecting a carrier for their flights.
Congratulations, you're not one of them.

It does matter that equipment is new.
Seriously, newer aircraft are miles ahead in terms of levels of noise or general cabin comfort.
Take an old B744. You can refurbish it 2000 times, it's still a noisy B744 making cracking noises throughout the flight.
Cabin refurbishments can also be a downgrade for the passenger experience as more seats are crammed in the same space at every possible opportunity.

To answer the question, BA is offering a poor and worsening product, whether we're talking about new or old aircraft. The old aircraft are still around and BA doesn't care what you think of their tired old B744's as long as you are paying them the big bucks.
Consider other airlines that do care about their passengers, and perhaps BA will realise that they have a problem and fix it so that you don't have to ask this question again in a decade.

Longer you sit on an old plane, the more discriminating you become, and the more research you do next time.

Many passengers assume a tatty, old, dirty interior equals old, poorly maintained aircraft. Until the US3 became more serious about interior refurbishments, that was the impression given to visitors from Europe, Asia and Pacific.

Vote with your feet and wallets to ensure a change.
 
LH658
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 8:37 pm

APYu wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
On highly competitive routes you need every edge you can get. The latest most comfortable aircraft can give you that edge.


This is an interesting and sensible point. Though isn't somewhere like UK - UAE / Middle East considered competitive? Old 777-200 vs the A380s and A350s of the ME3 :?


BA know where they can and can’t compete. I’m surprised BA still have up to 3 daily flights to DXB. EKs cost base / frequency / connection opportunities give them a massive edge. A Y ticket to DXB can be around £300. One to India can be almost double that. I know where I’d be focussing.


There's also lot of traffic and cargo just between London - AUH/DXB.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 9:34 pm

AA uses its least comfortable F product on the majority of its PHL-CLT transcons the non 3 class 321. 5-6 hours . I think economically they want less cycles more hours on those birds. probably something similar for BA. The economics make that the best plane to use.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 9:39 pm

Julie77W wrote:
Newer planes (787/A350) have a much lower cabin altitude levels. This can make a significant difference in port flight fatigue and is something BA and others ought to consider.


Do you think passengers book on maintained altitude and are willing to pay a premium for it? Care to point to a study that affirms it? Didn't think so.
 
BA777FO
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 9:44 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
To answer the question, BA is offering a poor and worsening product, whether we're talking about new or old aircraft. The old aircraft are still around and BA doesn't care what you think of their tired old B744's as long as you are paying them the big bucks.
Consider other airlines that do care about their passengers, and perhaps BA will realise that they have a problem and fix it so that you don't have to ask this question again in a decade.


Is that why BA has 18 A350s, 18 777X and 12 787-10s on order? Plus plenty of 777X and A350 options. Because they're just content flying around 747s forever?!

That's without the 30 787s and 12 A380s already in the fleet having retired the 767 recently. And a new J seat that will be arguably one of the best in class. All because they don't care?

BA is modernising, fleet replacement takes a while. But the 787 frequents a lot of the USA and Middle East (AUH, DOH, JED, TLV, EWR, BOS, BNA, PIT, MSY, SJC, LAX etc.) And the A350 will start TLV soon.

The 747s still work really well on high premium demand routes and the 777 is a great LGW-based aircraft. As more A350s are delivered more 777s will filter down to LGW.
 
MKIAZ
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Thu May 16, 2019 10:37 pm

Think about it. Fuel is very cheap in the mid east. Why fly efficient AC there when you can get some more utilization out of the gas guzzlers and fill them up cheap.
 
RobertPhoenix
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 1:32 am

I for one am going to be very disappointed when I can't fly PHX to LHR on a 747, no matter what the class, and no matter which aircraft eventually replaces it (unless by some freak they put an A380 on the route - fat chance)

There is something very reassuring about getting on a 747. As far as their J class is concerned, I really don't care as long as I can lie flat and go to sleep during the flight from PHX to LHR. Coming back I think premium coach plus works very well. All I want to do is read, and its just as well not to be tempted to drink and eat too much !
 
benjjk
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 2:07 am

On top of everything else that's been said, airlines have to consider cargo uplift, varying airport/airspace fees, and probably most importantly, if the numbers of premium and cheap travellers are a good fit for the cabin configuration.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 2:30 am

The 747's of BA may not be the best, like the blah IFE, but I had no problem with them with my flights JFK-LHR-JFK. The pricing was cheaper than out of EWR on the 777 or other models used by BA out of JFK. Those old 747's are tough, they do the job, they are reliable and ride nice. I suspect they do a nice freight load too on each run.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 2:49 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
Julie77W wrote:
Newer planes (787/A350) have a much lower cabin altitude levels. This can make a significant difference in port flight fatigue and is something BA and others ought to consider.


Do you think passengers book on maintained altitude and are willing to pay a premium for it? Care to point to a study that affirms it? Didn't think so.

Same could be said of First Class Seats: do you think passenger book based on bigger more comfortable seats and are willing to pay a premium for it? Answer is yes for some (not most).

Some passengers go out of way to fly the A380, or the 747; with the information available out there, it wouldn't be surprising that some people go out of way to fly the 787 or the A350 due to lower cabin altitude.
 
Boeing74741R
Posts: 1095
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:44 am

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 6:50 am

LH658 wrote:
APYu wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:

This is an interesting and sensible point. Though isn't somewhere like UK - UAE / Middle East considered competitive? Old 777-200 vs the A380s and A350s of the ME3 :?


BA know where they can and can’t compete. I’m surprised BA still have up to 3 daily flights to DXB. EKs cost base / frequency / connection opportunities give them a massive edge. A Y ticket to DXB can be around £300. One to India can be almost double that. I know where I’d be focussing.


There's also lot of traffic and cargo just between London - AUH/DXB.


Not to mention those that will only fly on BA and nobody else, as well as connecting via LHR who don't have a direct EK service. A few people I know who live within 45 minutes of MAN have been to DXB on packages booked via BA Holidays and involve flying with BA via LHR instead of the direct EK flight because the BA price was a lot cheaper.
 
jules48
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:25 pm

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 7:32 am

Flew BA recently to JFK and service was excellent.Not sure why people dislike them so much.I have flown many more airlines that are far worse and for safety and reliability BA are one of the best.Who cares how old the aircraft is.Their 744,S and older 777,s will all be gone in a few years and then people will be moaning because they dont like flying on twin-engined aircraft.You cannot win either way.
 
Jomar777
Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:45 am

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 8:07 am

I think that this is related to BA's overall willingness to renew their fleet less often than anything else. They willfly old and new aircraft according to a combinaiton of cost efficiency and competititvity to name the two main (but not the sole two) reasons.

Even when you refurbish an old aircraft to high standards, the age will always tell you somehow so it is offset for the comfort but still there and highly evident even by the ordinary passenger.

Once, whilst in GRU T3 (their best and newer terminal) going back to LHR via MAD, I could hear the BA 744 doing the non-stop route winding up its engines from the Immigration Control area (about 10 minustes walk form the gates (!!!). I was discussing with my son on whether it would have to effectivelly flap its wings to get out of the ground. Unless you go full hog and actually replace the engines for brand new ones (not economically possible neither feasible by other reasons) and fully refurbish its looks outside, it wll still look like an old bird.

Take Air Belgium's A340s which have been used by BA while they rotate (rotated) their B787s to deal with the engine issues: I flew in one of them from DXB. Fully refurbished and repainted. Butit still looks dated...

For an old bird it gest worse in matters of refurbishment since, mainly in Economy, with slimline seats et all, the flight experience is much more cramped so either you fly on an old dated but still comfie plane (something like visiting your grannie cosy house...) or get an old plane just been refurbished which looks old and have those new layouts which really does not endeavour to many.

The only exception of this was Qatar Airways which started refurbishing all their Wide Body Aircrafts on Business to add the Q Suite (which BA is now copying on their A350s). Their B77Ws are starting to look great now...
 
speedbird52
Posts: 758
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 8:10 am

jules48 wrote:
Flew BA recently to JFK and service was excellent.Not sure why people dislike them so much.I have flown many more airlines that are far worse and for safety and reliability BA are one of the best.Who cares how old the aircraft is.Their 744,S and older 777,s will all be gone in a few years and then people will be moaning because they dont like flying on twin-engined aircraft.You cannot win either way.

I think the BA 747 fleets reputation is really tarnished because of how long they went unrefurbished. My experience on BA Club World in G-CIVZ had zero complaints with the aircraft itself except for the fact that the bathroom smelt horrible. She looked in great shape even with a little wear, and had I not already known I would not have guessed she was over 20 years old. To my knowledge most of the Mid-J fleet is in atrocious condition
 
downdata
Posts: 551
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:38 am

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 8:56 am

Because people like you... OW emeralds are not going to switch to another alliance... meanwhile they put better products on more competitive routes
 
Andy33
Posts: 2427
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm

speedbird52 wrote:
To my knowledge most of the Mid-J fleet is in atrocious condition


Except that out of the 16 remaining mid-J 744s, six have very recently been refurbished to the same standard as the super-hi-J versions including the new IFE, six have very recently been refreshed with new seat foams and covers etc, but retaining the older IFE, one has less than 3 months to withdrawal, and the last three will get the higher spec refurb this winter.
When I say "very recently", this covers the last 12 months, with the most recent ones last month. Perhaps you should say that about a quarter of the mid-J fleet, at most, is in atrocious condition.
 
OB1504
Posts: 3640
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 17, 2019 7:49 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
AA has straight-up admitted that the lowest yielding routes get the worst aircraft. That is why places like LIM and AMS see 763's.


In the case of South America, it’s not low yields but the lack of competition. AA sis the only nonstop option in a lot of markets so either you put up with the tired 763 or add a layover somewhere.

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