So sad it ended this way, a distinguished fleet with a great airline. This fleet deserved better, too bad BA didn't reconfigure some by ripping out Club World seats and adding Y seats. IF BA had the will they would have found a way.
I think the problem was they’d just nearly finished refitting the vast majority of the 747’s.
And they don't see the demand coming back quick enough to keep the aging 744s around.
@Arion640 Why would BA have the "will" to keep planes around they can't fill either upfront or down the back? When at the same time they have plenty of right sized planes available? The fact is the 744s are old gas guzzlers and can pay their way only if plenty of premium seats are sold. It sometimes seems if it was up to the people here in this forum, we'd all fly on stratocruisers, Concorde and MD11s... Do you all drive Morris Minors and Ford Capris?
And since BA had already got plans in place to totally eliminate the 744 from their fleet over the next three years, with the last survivor going in February 2024, why should they make any effort at all to keep them in service when demand has fallen so catastrophically? Replacement planes are on order, some of these were actually delivered over the past few months, others are sufficiently far advanced in production to make deferral impossible. By the time traffic recovers sufficiently to need more planes or seats than the existing 772ER, 77W, 788, 789, A350 and perhaps A380 can provide, more A350s, more 77Ws, and the 787-10s (which were ordered to allow for expansion that isn't going to happen any time soon) will have arrived to help. Eventually the 779s will appear too.
Now if you can tell BA the date on which the entry bans and quarantine requirements which have removed most of the transatlantic travel the 744s have been servicing in recent years will disappear, they might have a better idea of how to manage their fleets, as it is, they do what they can with what information they have.