speedbird52
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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 8:02 pm

Andy33 wrote:
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.

I prefaced that statement with to my knowledge because I was uncertain
 
BA777FO
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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 10:28 pm

Jomar777 wrote:
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.


That must have been a while ago, BA has been flying the 77W to GRU for quite a few years now.

The 747s have lasted for so long because they were purchased and paid off relatively quickly - they were bought for a 30 year lifespan. The trend these days has been to acquire aircraft on leases, approximately 10-15 years, so that they can be replaced much more quickly. If the 747s were acquired on a 10-15 year lease they'd have all been replaced by 77Ws by now. As it is, BA largely missed the 77W train and skipped ahead to the 787. In ~15 years when the 787/A350 replacement comes out BA will be much more able to take advantage of it.
 
KFTG
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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 10:31 pm

Because the airline in question is a business, aimed at maximizing profits and reducing unnecessary expenditures.

Next question?
 
speedbird52
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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 10:35 pm

BA777FO wrote:
Jomar777 wrote:
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.


That must have been a while ago, BA has been flying the 77W to GRU for quite a few years now.

The 747s have lasted for so long because they were purchased and paid off relatively quickly - they were bought for a 30 year lifespan. The trend these days has been to acquire aircraft on leases, approximately 10-15 years, so that they can be replaced much more quickly. If the 747s were acquired on a 10-15 year lease they'd have all been replaced by 77Ws by now. As it is, BA largely missed the 77W train and skipped ahead to the 787. In ~15 years when the 787/A350 replacement comes out BA will be much more able to take advantage of it.

Are you sure this is the trend? AFAIK that was just the Asian carriers
 
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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?

Mon May 27, 2019 10:53 am

Any thoughts about whether those 777-200 are OK enough in either J or Economy?
 
FCAFLYBOY
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 11:29 am

As has already been said, partly due to the fact these aircraft are fully paid off. In cohesion with that, also many of BA’s LHR 744/777 fleet are High J/Mid J cabin aircraft. These aircraft have some of the most premium-heavy and light Y configs around. These print money for BA on routes such as JFK where Club often flies full, or mostly fully, on each and every flight.
 
TheEuphorian
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 11:40 am

Similarly, some Asian airlines like CX,TG,KE and JL use their 20+ year old aircraft like the 772(TG/CX/JL), 773(CX/TG) and the A333(KE/CX) on routes such as:
JL:Domestic Japan/intra Asia flights
TG: India, Japan, Singapore and Indochina + domestic rotations
KE: deployed randomly around Asia, mostly out of PUS
CX: Mainly on intra Asia routes eg. SIN
 
BTC
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 12:47 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
Any thoughts about whether those 777-200 are OK enough in either J or Economy?


Depends what you mean by OK.
OK as in it has all the bells and whistles IFE?
OK as in seat comfort?
OK as in will get you there?

I think you need to be more specific in what you mean as OK?

For me, I choose on destination, and availability/price, and not aircraft.
Flown in :- A319, A320, A321, A332, A359, BAC ATP, BAC-1-11, BAE146, B722, B732, B733, B734, B738, B744, B752, B762, B763, B772, B788, CS3, CRJ7, CRJ9, Dash 8, DC10, Dornier 328, E170, E190, HS 121 Trident, Shorts 360
 
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aerdingus
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 1:56 pm

I flew the B772 LHR HND last year. It was subbed for a B77W! I was a bit annoyed as I was looking forward to flying a newer a/c. It was very dated on the inside, but once I settled in I had a great flight. The IFE was ok, and I even managed an hour or two sleep.
A306 A313 A319 A320 A321 A333 A346 A359 ATR42 ATR72 B734 B737 B738 B744 B772 B789 C152 MD80 RJ85 S340
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 1:59 pm

the question is why anyone using planes 20+ years old?
 
mattyfitzg
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 2:01 pm

Having been on the flights and witnessed the carnage first hand, I don't think BA will be sending anything newer than 20 years old to Abuja. The state of the interior arriving in ABV is an abomination.

Imagine sending a fresh out of the packet 789 down there, R.I.P.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 2:05 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
the question is why anyone using planes 20+ years old?


Simplified

Because the costs for a new aircraft are: Total cost = maintenance cost + operating costs (e.g. fuel) + financing
Old aircraft that is payed: Total cost = maintenance cost + operating costs

So if the total cost of the new aircraft is higher than the old one you keep the old one for as long as this equation is valid and safety can be guaranteed.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 2:08 pm

yep so what the OP question?
 
shankly
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 2:14 pm

My milk run (BA58/59)....CPT-LHR-CPT gets pure Low J

I'm curious as to what the tipping point (date) is when there are simply not enough Low J's left to service us fully down here and what we will get in its place?

My next milk run in early August so keeping fingers X'd for LY (Landor) or VB (Negus). LN needs to be put out of its misery as was pretty poor last time I flew it with broken galleys, seats and the IFE even more unreliable than usual
L1011 - P F M
 
lhrsfosyd91
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 2:16 pm

BA tends to send new aircraft to fight off competition more than anything else. You won't see new aircraft go to places like Abuja or Accra as there is simply no incentive to do that. A350 is the best example of that:

YYZ - heavy competition from AC
DXB - heavy competition from EK
TLV - heavy competition from LY and soon VS
BLR - new competition from AI and indirect by EK

Of course there's the added factors of flight length and consumer demand. Based on the above factors, the next destination is almost certainly going to be a route already served by another carrier.
 
B737Captain1980
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:15 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...


Because the dispatch coordinator doesn't look at the date of manufacture of an aircraft 48 hours prior when they are assigning aircraft to flights. Do you know how incredibly hard it is to coordinate this? Age of an aircraft is meaningless when they have routine scheduled refurb's going on. You can get a 30 years old jet with new paint and interior and a pax wouldn't know it was older than a 7 year old jet. The general public has no clue whats going on.
 
BTC
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:29 pm

B737Captain1980 wrote:
You can get a 30 years old jet with new paint and interior and a pax wouldn't know it was older than a 7 year old jet. The general public has no clue whats going on.

:thumbsup:

Look at the up-coming BA Club Suite. Going in the 772 before the 380.

Conversely, there's older 772s with 3-4-3 in Y. Better IFE, but subjectively a worse seat, and you don't have to be a overly large to notice this.
Can you take your own seat on board? No.
Can you take your own IFE on board? Yes.

That's a bigger deciding factor than aircraft age alone.
Flown in :- A319, A320, A321, A332, A359, BAC ATP, BAC-1-11, BAE146, B722, B732, B733, B734, B738, B744, B752, B762, B763, B772, B788, CS3, CRJ7, CRJ9, Dash 8, DC10, Dornier 328, E170, E190, HS 121 Trident, Shorts 360
 
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adamblang
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:43 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?

None of that has anything to do with the age of the airplane.
146 319 320 321 332 333 343 717 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 763 764 772 773 789 AR1 AT4 CNA CR2 CR7 DC9 ER3 ERD ER4 E70 E75 E90
 
aahammayo
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 3:55 pm

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
BA tends to send new aircraft to fight off competition more than anything else. You won't see new aircraft go to places like Abuja or Accra as there is simply no incentive to do that. A350 is the best example of that:

YYZ - heavy competition from AC
DXB - heavy competition from EK
TLV - heavy competition from LY and soon VS
BLR - new competition from AI and indirect by EK

Of course there's the added factors of flight length and consumer demand. Based on the above factors, the next destination is almost certainly going to be a route already served by another carrier.


Flew on G-VIIL to Abuja about 2 weeks ago and you could tell the age
 
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PerfectGriffin
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Mon May 27, 2019 4:59 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.


Whenever I've flown them from DXB, the aircraft has always been refurbished with the newer IFE system and seats. I think they are trying to be competitive with EK at DXB and still are popular.
 
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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?

Tue May 28, 2019 6:45 am

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
BA tends to send new aircraft to fight off competition more than anything else. You won't see new aircraft go to places like Abuja or Accra as there is simply no incentive to do that. A350 is the best example of that:

YYZ - heavy competition from AC
DXB - heavy competition from EK
TLV - heavy competition from LY and soon VS
BLR - new competition from AI and indirect by EK

Of course there's the added factors of flight length and consumer demand. Based on the above factors, the next destination is almost certainly going to be a route already served by another carrier.


But all BA flights to DXB these days are on super old 777-200 :( This is what first caught my attention to this issue.
 
BTC
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 8:27 am

Airbus747 wrote:
lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
BA tends to send new aircraft to fight off competition more than anything else. You won't see new aircraft go to places like Abuja or Accra as there is simply no incentive to do that. A350 is the best example of that:

YYZ - heavy competition from AC
DXB - heavy competition from EK
TLV - heavy competition from LY and soon VS
BLR - new competition from AI and indirect by EK

Of course there's the added factors of flight length and consumer demand. Based on the above factors, the next destination is almost certainly going to be a route already served by another carrier.


But all BA flights to DXB these days are on super old 777-200 :( This is what first caught my attention to this issue.


Again, age has nothing to do with it. You need to comprehend this.
The G-VIIx are shorter range, so YYZ, TLV and DXB are where they'll fly. They don't need the predominately newer Rolls-Royce engined G-YMMx fleet to fly.
And in any case the Heathrow based VIIx fleet are about to undergo heavy refurbishment starting in September with G-RAES, which includes the fitment of Club Suite, while the A Market G-ZZZx fleet will be retired in 2020. So the oldest BA 777s from Heathrow will have the latest cabins.
Flown in :- A319, A320, A321, A332, A359, BAC ATP, BAC-1-11, BAE146, B722, B732, B733, B734, B738, B744, B752, B762, B763, B772, B788, CS3, CRJ7, CRJ9, Dash 8, DC10, Dornier 328, E170, E190, HS 121 Trident, Shorts 360
 
Junglejames
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 12:43 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:

Seriously, newer aircraft are miles ahead in terms of levels of noise or general cabin comfort.


Ha. Quote of the Millenium.
So please explain, since when was the A330, 340 and 380 younger than the 787 or 350?

As for the rest. Your hatred of BA stands loud and clear. Best ignore your posts.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
Junglejames
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 12:50 pm

Galwayman wrote:
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?
PMSL, is that the EK that has the most uncomfortable 777s I've flown on?
Or where the IFE required a degree to work it?

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 
mutu
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 12:51 pm

Armadillo1 wrote:
the question is why anyone using planes 20+ years old?


Also do bear in mind, airlines don't pop into a dealer and come out with a handful of shiny new planes. Orders are placed based on future expected growth needs and replacement needs, countered by an assessment of the economic cycle, and of course funding availability. Changing network needs also factor in

Once an order is placed the queue for a delivery slot can be months/years depending on the manufacturers backlog.

Throw in some famous delays to 380 and 787 deliveries, and even well made plans can fall apart

The larger carriers have to be strict about replacement cycles given the shear size of their fleets. As a business there needs to be as smooth a capex cycle as far as can be planned having regard to all the above factors.

What you can argue in the case of BA is that their strong preference is NOT to be a launch customer of a new frame. They tend therefore be sit some way down the order book once they do make a commitment.

To finish, a well maintained 747 is as young as its last major check. And in the case of the 744, its as solid and robust as they come. Yes, low scores for fuel efficiency, but otherwise, with a modern interior, she is still as reliable to fly as anything else out there
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 1:24 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?




Absolutely not. Schedule and Price and than for your elite travelers their Frequent flier programs are the only considerations for 99% of passengers. People love bells and whistles almost nobody will pay for them.
 
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BlueSky1976
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 1:35 pm

nycilley02 wrote:
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.


THIS ^^^^^
I'll happily hop on any 20-year old 777 with 9 abreast than any of those new "crampliners" with 16.9 inch - wide seats or 10-abreast configuration.
Tarriffs are taxes. Taxation is theft. You are not entitled to anything.
If it's a Boeing, I'm not going.
 
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pitbosflyer
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 1:58 pm

The problem sounds more like BAs unwillingness to refresh interiors of some of it's older planes frequently enough. Meanwhile DL and UA are currently putting their best IFE and flagship business products on their 20+ year old 767s.

I feel like the EK fanboys have their weird idea that it's healthy and normal for an airline to use a plane for 5 years then dump it for factory fresh metal. Planes cost millions of dollars. You're never going to see your return on investment with that kind of thinking. That being said, some airlines do a horrible job keeping the interiors feeling fresh. That's not a great look for the passenger experience.
 
unimproved
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 2:05 pm

Most EU-US J travel is business related, aka the company is paying for it. And at least for that it means that unless the food is inedible, seat broken or something like that I couldn't care less. All I want is a place to get some shuteye and a ride home.
 
lhrsfosyd91
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 2:12 pm

pitbosflyer wrote:
The problem sounds more like BAs unwillingness to refresh interiors of some of it's older planes frequently enough. Meanwhile DL and UA are currently putting their best IFE and flagship business products on their 20+ year old 767s.

I feel like the EK fanboys have their weird idea that it's healthy and normal for an airline to use a plane for 5 years then dump it for factory fresh metal. Planes cost millions of dollars. You're never going to see your return on investment with that kind of thinking. That being said, some airlines do a horrible job keeping the interiors feeling fresh. That's not a great look for the passenger experience.


Yeah, FR has been getting it wrong for the last 20 years.
 
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pitbosflyer
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 2:21 pm

lhrsfosyd91 wrote:
pitbosflyer wrote:
The problem sounds more like BAs unwillingness to refresh interiors of some of it's older planes frequently enough. Meanwhile DL and UA are currently putting their best IFE and flagship business products on their 20+ year old 767s.

I feel like the EK fanboys have their weird idea that it's healthy and normal for an airline to use a plane for 5 years then dump it for factory fresh metal. Planes cost millions of dollars. You're never going to see your return on investment with that kind of thinking. That being said, some airlines do a horrible job keeping the interiors feeling fresh. That's not a great look for the passenger experience.


Yeah, FR has been getting it wrong for the last 20 years.


That strategy only worked for FR with their 737NG's because they received them at a massive discount. Thus they were able to sell them for more than they even paid for them. Which is super smart. But the same will likely not be possible with their 737-800s and Max's. Time will tell but I assume they will sit on those planes much longer.
 
richierich
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 2:48 pm

ltbewr wrote:
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.


To be honest, with the recently retrofitted B744s (within the past two years), these planes really don't look or feel out of date at all. My wife, who is admittedly not a plane geek in any way, had no idea the BA plane we were on was more than 20 years old because the cabin felt new and had similar, if not slightly better, IFE than the VS B789 we flew back from LHR. I think that anybody who is saying that flying on a 20-25 year old plane is somehow worse than a newer plane is not considering the airline or how recently the cabins have been updated. Most passengers DON'T CARE - I cannot overstate that - as long as the plane is clean, comfortable and has a relatively decent amount of modern tech. With seatback USB chargers now and industry standard on long-haul flight, as well as comprehensive IFE and maps, the BA B744s are as good as any other plane for transatlantic flights. In fact, my wife and I agree that the BA flight to London was better than the VS flight back, although the differences were admittedly minor.

BA uses the B744s for high-volume routes across North America. You won't see one at BWI or PIT but you are likely to see them at JFK, MIA, PHL, SEA, etc.
None shall pass!!!!
 
DeusEx777x
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Tue May 28, 2019 6:26 pm

Long time lurker here,

Just my 2c. I've worked as cabin crew in the past and seen just how bad the cabins look after certain routes like a Vegas or Miami for instance, usually holiday destinations. The cabins at the rear of the aircraft are a real state.

I would suggest that since BA already has paid off its 747-400's, and that they dont mind them getting trashed as much as say a brand new 77W or a 787 or a350-1000 which hasn't been with the company for a long time.

What sort of airports are we talking here OP?
 
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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?

Wed May 29, 2019 1:06 am

OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.
 
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ojjunior
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Wed May 29, 2019 2:06 am

BlueSky1976 wrote:

THIS ^^^^^
I'll happily hop on any 20-year old 777 with 9 abreast than any of those new "crampliners" with 16.9 inch - wide seats or 10-abreast configuration.

Shhh
Don't let some fanboys around hear you.
(BTW oh yes i'm 100% with you)
 
strfyr51
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Wed May 29, 2019 2:16 am

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?

you're wrong. All that stuff can be retrofitted into ANY airliner, OR? Removed!!
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Wed May 29, 2019 9:17 am

Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.

So let me ask you this. Do you replace your car every two or three years?
Captain Kevin
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Wed May 29, 2019 9:49 am

Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.
Its actually often a little bit counter intuitive, older things are often more reliable and this is for a couple of reasons.
1. The "bath tub" model. Things that are designed properly (and aircraft that are flying in service can be assumed to be this) will normally have failures due to undetected manufacturing defects, this means that they are more likely to fail after a short time in service than a long time so a higher failure rate at the start of the components use. As a good component gets used in service its chances of failure drop to a steady low level and don't pick up again until wear or fatigue mean those chances start to increase. To look out for these problems an airline or maintenance contractor would employ some condition based monitoring systems to determine if it was ready for replacing.

2. Over maintaining. If I were to ask you to take your car engine apart and inspect the head gasket do you think the engine would run better before or after you inspected it? the same is true of basically any part of a well running system in general. If you can get away with not taking the component off the air frame to inspect it or indeed have new methods to inspect that mean it can remain in place and have continuous monitoring for signs of wear or malfunction then the system can remain more reliable.

The example I will give is one not from an aircraft but one I am familiar with because I did it. We thought a bearing was worn in a conveyor belt drive system so we took the drive system off which comprised a motor-gearbox attached to a sprocket and chain and found that the bearing was fine and it just needed the grub screws tightening. We tightened the grub screws, put everything back together and carried on our merry way... 1 week later the sprocket and chain gave up and we had to replace some parts. When a guy (now my boss in a different role) heard he sent someone from an outside maintenance company to come and look and saw that the the chain and sprocket had been slightly out of alignment originally but that didn't matter because the sprocket had wear marks where it had basically got used to it and whilst not perfect it was good enough for the job it was doing, we had changed it from its happy state and caused an upset in the system which then went on to failure. Effectively by doing maintenace that might not be needed you can increase the risk of failure by doing the maintenance.

This is why we now hear about engines never having shop visits, if the twirly wings on the wings are continuing to twirl without making bad noises or getting too hot then there is a good chance everything is fine and they will keep twirling.

Fred

Fred
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Andy33
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Wed May 29, 2019 10:13 am

Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.


Now if you want something to worry about, try a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that has changed ownership multiple times. Don't worry about a repeatedly overhauled aircraft that's had one careful owner from new who performs their own heavy maintenance in-house.

Remember that the two most recent crashes of passenger planes with major loss of life were aircraft so new that they were less than a year old. Then there's the fire at Moscow - not an old plane with changes multiple times there either.
 
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Airbus747
Topic Author
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 31, 2019 8:39 am

flipdewaf wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.
Its actually often a little bit counter intuitive, older things are often more reliable and this is for a couple of reasons.
1. The "bath tub" model. Things that are designed properly (and aircraft that are flying in service can be assumed to be this) will normally have failures due to undetected manufacturing defects, this means that they are more likely to fail after a short time in service than a long time so a higher failure rate at the start of the components use. As a good component gets used in service its chances of failure drop to a steady low level and don't pick up again until wear or fatigue mean those chances start to increase. To look out for these problems an airline or maintenance contractor would employ some condition based monitoring systems to determine if it was ready for replacing.

2. Over maintaining. If I were to ask you to take your car engine apart and inspect the head gasket do you think the engine would run better before or after you inspected it? the same is true of basically any part of a well running system in general. If you can get away with not taking the component off the air frame to inspect it or indeed have new methods to inspect that mean it can remain in place and have continuous monitoring for signs of wear or malfunction then the system can remain more reliable.

The example I will give is one not from an aircraft but one I am familiar with because I did it. We thought a bearing was worn in a conveyor belt drive system so we took the drive system off which comprised a motor-gearbox attached to a sprocket and chain and found that the bearing was fine and it just needed the grub screws tightening. We tightened the grub screws, put everything back together and carried on our merry way... 1 week later the sprocket and chain gave up and we had to replace some parts. When a guy (now my boss in a different role) heard he sent someone from an outside maintenance company to come and look and saw that the the chain and sprocket had been slightly out of alignment originally but that didn't matter because the sprocket had wear marks where it had basically got used to it and whilst not perfect it was good enough for the job it was doing, we had changed it from its happy state and caused an upset in the system which then went on to failure. Effectively by doing maintenace that might not be needed you can increase the risk of failure by doing the maintenance.

This is why we now hear about engines never having shop visits, if the twirly wings on the wings are continuing to twirl without making bad noises or getting too hot then there is a good chance everything is fine and they will keep twirling.

Fred

Fred


Thank you Fred for the extensive examples, but... to make sure I understood how what you're saying applies to the question of this thread: the older planes should be fine as long as they are not overhauled/maintained too frequently? But how then do you detect structural wear and tear issues?

You're right it feels counter-intuitive.
 
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Airbus747
Topic Author
Posts: 144
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 31, 2019 8:41 am

AirKevin wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.

So let me ask you this. Do you replace your car every two or three years?


Nope, you're right, but if my car has a breakdown on the side of the street it's surely less consequential than an aircraft with 300 passengers 30,000 feet in the air, right?
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Fri May 31, 2019 9:48 am

Airbus747 wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.
Its actually often a little bit counter intuitive, older things are often more reliable and this is for a couple of reasons.
1. The "bath tub" model. Things that are designed properly (and aircraft that are flying in service can be assumed to be this) will normally have failures due to undetected manufacturing defects, this means that they are more likely to fail after a short time in service than a long time so a higher failure rate at the start of the components use. As a good component gets used in service its chances of failure drop to a steady low level and don't pick up again until wear or fatigue mean those chances start to increase. To look out for these problems an airline or maintenance contractor would employ some condition based monitoring systems to determine if it was ready for replacing.

2. Over maintaining. If I were to ask you to take your car engine apart and inspect the head gasket do you think the engine would run better before or after you inspected it? the same is true of basically any part of a well running system in general. If you can get away with not taking the component off the air frame to inspect it or indeed have new methods to inspect that mean it can remain in place and have continuous monitoring for signs of wear or malfunction then the system can remain more reliable.

The example I will give is one not from an aircraft but one I am familiar with because I did it. We thought a bearing was worn in a conveyor belt drive system so we took the drive system off which comprised a motor-gearbox attached to a sprocket and chain and found that the bearing was fine and it just needed the grub screws tightening. We tightened the grub screws, put everything back together and carried on our merry way... 1 week later the sprocket and chain gave up and we had to replace some parts. When a guy (now my boss in a different role) heard he sent someone from an outside maintenance company to come and look and saw that the the chain and sprocket had been slightly out of alignment originally but that didn't matter because the sprocket had wear marks where it had basically got used to it and whilst not perfect it was good enough for the job it was doing, we had changed it from its happy state and caused an upset in the system which then went on to failure. Effectively by doing maintenace that might not be needed you can increase the risk of failure by doing the maintenance.

This is why we now hear about engines never having shop visits, if the twirly wings on the wings are continuing to twirl without making bad noises or getting too hot then there is a good chance everything is fine and they will keep twirling.

Fred

Fred


Thank you Fred for the extensive examples, but... to make sure I understood how what you're saying applies to the question of this thread: the older planes should be fine as long as they are not overhauled/maintained too frequently? But how then do you detect structural wear and tear issues?

You're right it feels counter-intuitive.


Effectively you are right. Useful and valid inspections are the key. Every time you remove something you add risk that it will fail partly because of how you remove and replace it, if you have to remove something to inspect it and everything is fine then you put it back you have only added to the risk, it would be better to only take something off if there was a greater risk of it needing work doing or being replaced. Best would be if you only had to take something off because you know it needs replacing. It even goes down to things like inspection doors, if you can have a permanently fixed piece of polycarbonate with a gauge behind it then you only need to open the inspection hatch when the gauge tells you that its needed. Once its running like the "well oiled machine" just leave it alone and for heavens sake don't keep putting oil in it unless you know the oil level, the worst thing you can do is have a bored grease man being over enthusiastic and suddenly everything is falling down around your ears because everything is full of grease and then when you turn it on it expands, breaks the seals and then you have no grease.

There are a number of ways to detect wear and tear without having to remove components. You can check and measure the amount of "play" in a shaft. You can listen to bearings with sensitive microphone to determine if there is any damage internally, you can use a boroscope to get a view into a small component, you can use die to help show up fatigue cracks, use strobes to help detect any vibrations or parts that are oscilating you can use vibrometers whilst in service to make sure there are levels of imbalance within limits, you can use ammeters to detect trends in electrical loading on motors to see if there are abnormalities, you can use thermal information such as exhaust stack temperatures, you can use specialized paints that wear away when certain limits are exceeded (PH values, temperatures humidity levels to high or low), Particulate sensors, you can use thermal imaging cameras to see hot spots or cold spots. You can use pneumatic and hydraulic pressure testing (both have advantages and disadvantages) to check for leaks, You can use a very bright small light to help you look for shiny metal (normally a sign of bad metal to metal contact), Chip detectors to see if there is any metal particles in fluids. You can use devices in oil to measure polar compounds to see how the oil is breaking down. You can use sonic testing to see how sound travels through something vs what you would expect (good for detecting things like delamination). You can use operators to tell you "it doesn't feel right". Lots of car manufacturers put things in break pads so that before they actually wear out they start to whistle or grind when you apply the brakes to let you know they are worn. I had a set of tyres on my car that whined when the tread got low.

Fred
Image
 
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AirKevin
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:18 am

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

Fri May 31, 2019 2:54 pm

Airbus747 wrote:
AirKevin wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.

So let me ask you this. Do you replace your car every two or three years?

Nope, you're right, but if my car has a breakdown on the side of the street it's surely less consequential than an aircraft with 300 passengers 30,000 feet in the air, right?

Sure, but my point being, the airlines aren't going to be throwing planes away after using them for two or three years, planes aren't exactly cheap. As long as it's properly maintained, it'll run fine, just like your car. Where you would start to have problem is if you're not doing proper maintenance.
Captain Kevin
 
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Airbus747
Topic Author
Posts: 144
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:15 am

flipdewaf wrote:
Airbus747 wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
Its actually often a little bit counter intuitive, older things are often more reliable and this is for a couple of reasons.
1. The "bath tub" model. Things that are designed properly (and aircraft that are flying in service can be assumed to be this) will normally have failures due to undetected manufacturing defects, this means that they are more likely to fail after a short time in service than a long time so a higher failure rate at the start of the components use. As a good component gets used in service its chances of failure drop to a steady low level and don't pick up again until wear or fatigue mean those chances start to increase. To look out for these problems an airline or maintenance contractor would employ some condition based monitoring systems to determine if it was ready for replacing.

2. Over maintaining. If I were to ask you to take your car engine apart and inspect the head gasket do you think the engine would run better before or after you inspected it? the same is true of basically any part of a well running system in general. If you can get away with not taking the component off the air frame to inspect it or indeed have new methods to inspect that mean it can remain in place and have continuous monitoring for signs of wear or malfunction then the system can remain more reliable.

The example I will give is one not from an aircraft but one I am familiar with because I did it. We thought a bearing was worn in a conveyor belt drive system so we took the drive system off which comprised a motor-gearbox attached to a sprocket and chain and found that the bearing was fine and it just needed the grub screws tightening. We tightened the grub screws, put everything back together and carried on our merry way... 1 week later the sprocket and chain gave up and we had to replace some parts. When a guy (now my boss in a different role) heard he sent someone from an outside maintenance company to come and look and saw that the the chain and sprocket had been slightly out of alignment originally but that didn't matter because the sprocket had wear marks where it had basically got used to it and whilst not perfect it was good enough for the job it was doing, we had changed it from its happy state and caused an upset in the system which then went on to failure. Effectively by doing maintenace that might not be needed you can increase the risk of failure by doing the maintenance.

This is why we now hear about engines never having shop visits, if the twirly wings on the wings are continuing to twirl without making bad noises or getting too hot then there is a good chance everything is fine and they will keep twirling.

Fred

Fred


Thank you Fred for the extensive examples, but... to make sure I understood how what you're saying applies to the question of this thread: the older planes should be fine as long as they are not overhauled/maintained too frequently? But how then do you detect structural wear and tear issues?

You're right it feels counter-intuitive.


Effectively you are right. Useful and valid inspections are the key. Every time you remove something you add risk that it will fail partly because of how you remove and replace it, if you have to remove something to inspect it and everything is fine then you put it back you have only added to the risk, it would be better to only take something off if there was a greater risk of it needing work doing or being replaced. Best would be if you only had to take something off because you know it needs replacing. It even goes down to things like inspection doors, if you can have a permanently fixed piece of polycarbonate with a gauge behind it then you only need to open the inspection hatch when the gauge tells you that its needed. Once its running like the "well oiled machine" just leave it alone and for heavens sake don't keep putting oil in it unless you know the oil level, the worst thing you can do is have a bored grease man being over enthusiastic and suddenly everything is falling down around your ears because everything is full of grease and then when you turn it on it expands, breaks the seals and then you have no grease.

There are a number of ways to detect wear and tear without having to remove components. You can check and measure the amount of "play" in a shaft. You can listen to bearings with sensitive microphone to determine if there is any damage internally, you can use a boroscope to get a view into a small component, you can use die to help show up fatigue cracks, use strobes to help detect any vibrations or parts that are oscilating you can use vibrometers whilst in service to make sure there are levels of imbalance within limits, you can use ammeters to detect trends in electrical loading on motors to see if there are abnormalities, you can use thermal information such as exhaust stack temperatures, you can use specialized paints that wear away when certain limits are exceeded (PH values, temperatures humidity levels to high or low), Particulate sensors, you can use thermal imaging cameras to see hot spots or cold spots. You can use pneumatic and hydraulic pressure testing (both have advantages and disadvantages) to check for leaks, You can use a very bright small light to help you look for shiny metal (normally a sign of bad metal to metal contact), Chip detectors to see if there is any metal particles in fluids. You can use devices in oil to measure polar compounds to see how the oil is breaking down. You can use sonic testing to see how sound travels through something vs what you would expect (good for detecting things like delamination). You can use operators to tell you "it doesn't feel right". Lots of car manufacturers put things in break pads so that before they actually wear out they start to whistle or grind when you apply the brakes to let you know they are worn. I had a set of tyres on my car that whined when the tread got low.

Fred


Got it thank you!
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3096
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:59 am

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?


The newer planes have the best operational cost on the longer International flights. Flying a brand new 787-9 LHR-JFK waste the lower burn rates. The longer the flight the more important the lower fuel burn is.
 
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flyingphil
Posts: 178
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Re: Why does BA (and others) decide to use 20+ year old planes on specific popular routes?

Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:17 am

British Airways has also started buying second hand planes too.
The A320’s based at Gatwick G-GATH to G-GATU are all second hand and some are coming up to 20 years old.. however having flown on a couple of them the cabins look brand new.
So age does not necessarily mean that the plane is shabby inside.
 
lalib
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:48 am

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

Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:21 am

mattyfitzg wrote:
Having been on the flights and witnessed the carnage first hand, I don't think BA will be sending anything newer than 20 years old to Abuja. The state of the interior arriving in ABV is an abomination.

Imagine sending a fresh out of the packet 789 down there, R.I.P.



I am happy that BA is sending a new 787 to Islamabad. Today or tomorrow is the inaugural flight
 
speedbird52
Posts: 737
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?

Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:38 am

Airbus747 wrote:
OK. And any considerations about the safety of a repeatedly overhauled old aircraft that had changes multiple times vs a new aircraft with all parts fresh from the factory?
Sorry if this sounds an amateurish question, but better to know than not to know.

No.
 
KFTG
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:08 am

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

Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:26 pm

MKIAZ wrote:
Think about it.

You lost me there.
 
leftcoast8
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:59 am

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

Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:10 pm

Not related but has it been decided which aircraft will replace the winter 744 to YVR? Will it be the A350-1000, the 777-300ER, the 787-10, a future 777-9X?

I think the afternoon flight to Seattle is 744 in summer, so what will replace that? SEA is not A380-ready so an A380 is out of the question.

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