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karungguni
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Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:25 am

With the retirement from AF, am curious if there are educated guesses on who will be last operator of the 747-400 (Passenger). Focused on airlines that purchased them new, my high level guess based on size of fleet and acquisition date would be BA, LH or QF. Does anybody else have a more reasoned insight?
 
lutfi
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:38 am

QF would be my guess- they bought 747-400ER that are relatively new.

GA/ AI/ DL - all have a history of operating aircraft for a long time, and not reselling them.
 
777way
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:44 am

Garuda have stopped flying theirs and they were ex-Varig I think, Air India's two of four are on sale, while the pair used for VIP ops at times will be replaced by 77W in a year or so.

[Edited 2015-12-13 19:59:09]
 
rta
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:50 am

DL's are expected to be leaving within the next 2 years. I think it would be either BA or QF.
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:53 am

Note that the last four passenger 744 aircraft ever built (2004-05) currently fly with CI. The last I heard they plan to keep those particular airframes around.
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Spacepope
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:03 am

Kalitta maybe? They got that 744ERF white tail, so technically they were its first operator. I bet it doesn't even have 15000 hours on it yet.
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ADent
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:12 am

Virgin Galactic got a Virgin 747. That may fly for many years - the last L1011 is a Pegasus launcher for OSC (now OA).

It isn't going to be used for passengers anymore though.




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hilram
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:30 am

Quoting 747WanSui (Reply 4):

Air China seems like a good bet. Otherwise, I could guess that it will just take BA a very long time to retire their big fleet of 747's, and that they will probably be the last European airline to operate it.

At least we will have the Lufthansa 747-8' s around to keep us happy for a while.
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:31 am

Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:15 am

QF have been winding down their B744 fleet quite rapidly over the last few years now, with the majority of retirements occurring in 2013. There are 11 left in service now, of which 9 were built this side of 1/1/1999, and of which six are 747-438ERs.

Hard to say just how long they have left, given QF have only just recently confirmed delivery slots for B789s, the capex limits are still being enforced, and the remaining A388s are still indefinitely deferred, and arguably they've already pushed things too far with the retirements to now. Could be five-plus years yet.

My money's still on BA outlasting the rest of first-run operators though - most of their 744s are 1998 and 1999 builds, and by sheer numbers they'll take some replacing.
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:17 am

Quoting dergay (Reply 8):
Probably USAF

What 747-400 does USAF fly??
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:18 am

Quoting dergay (Reply 8):
Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!

The USAF don't operate 744s as far as I know. The current VIP ones at Andrews ("Air Force One") are series 200s and will be replaced by series 800s
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:28 am

Quoting hilram (Reply 7):
Air China seems like a good bet.

Don't think CA use the 744's much these days, only a couple left now I think, apart from B-2472 on VIP duties.
I would suggest CI and BA as being the last of the majors to use them, but as long as oil is where it is now I'm sure there will be new smaller operators taking a few in years to come.
Air Atlanta Icelandic will probably have a few on hand a good while yet too.
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:39 am

I would estimate BA keeps some of their newer 747's until a good 2025!
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:46 am

My money is on BA considering they still operate 54 frames if I'm not mistaken. QF on the other hand would operate their fleet until at least 2022-25.

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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:47 am

Quoting dergay (Reply 8):
Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!

You think the Air Force has -400's and you also believe Donald T is going to be President. That says a lot about you.
 
rta
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:50 am

Quoting EK413 (Reply 14):

My money is on BA considering they still operate 54 frames if I'm not mistaken.

They're at 41 now
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:23 pm

BA or Qantas will be the last 744 original operators. Qantas because of their 744ER fleet which were very late produced. BA has so many 744 and they have not ordered planes to replace all of them. BA still has about 40 744 flying.
 
diverted
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:51 pm

Quoting B747400ERF (Reply 15):

Quoting dergay (Reply 8):
Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!

You think the Air Force has -400's and you also believe Donald T is going to be President. That says a lot about you.


Well they did until a few years ago


and Trump is still the leading Republican candidate. I think their pledge to not have their candidates run as independents has shot them in the foot.
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:17 pm

Quoting XAM2175 (Reply 9):
My money's still on BA outlasting the rest of first-run operators though - most of their 744s are 1998 and 1999 builds, and by sheer numbers they'll take some replacing.

Good bet. But let me throw in KL too, they also have some of the younger 744s, the youngest is even from 2002 (pax, the F's are even younger). And although KL has retired its first 744 a few months ago, there are still 24 left. Yes, KL has 21 787s and 4 77W's on order as replacements, but the emphasis will be on retiring the A330 fleet (17 units) as these are all leased.

So, if we assume the 21 787s will replace 17 A330s and 4 74M's, and 4 77W's will replace 4 744 full pax, there are still 11x 74M's and 2x 744 without direct replacement at KL...

Yes, KL also has 7x A350 on order. But it is still very unclear whether KL will actually take them (strong rumor is AF will take the lot).
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 1:24 pm

Quoting diverted (Reply 18):
Well they did until a few years ago

I think this is about 747-400 passenger aircraft. I don't think 747-400F's should really count. That's not really even a 747-400F, it's a YAL-1.

[Edited 2015-12-14 05:28:30]
 
_AA_777_MAN
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:05 pm

Probably United Airlines.
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:06 pm

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 11):

I know there are 2 orders at Boeing stating "UFO" but has this been confirmed?
 
dlphoenix
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:24 pm

I would add LY to the list of candidates, they tent to use their airplanes longer than others.
They announced a replacement plan, but I will believe it when I see the 787 landing in TLV.

DLP
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:40 pm

I'd say BA simply because of the number they have left in their fleet 41.

Shame they didn't buy any 748I's, those would've been real beauties.
 
n729pa
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:50 pm

Of the legacy carriers, I would say BA, like everyone else the sheer number they operate must make them the likely contender.

Do we have a definitive list of when people like TG, KE, OZ, LH, BA etc are expected to retire them by?

As for the final 747-400 operator....

Iran Air ? !!  
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:55 pm

I think KL is a good bet. They were the very last M11 and flew their 742's/743's for a long time as well. I can see them running the 744 into the ground. I think LH would also have been a good bet, but the 779 order means they'll probably all be gone by the early 2020's.

Which brings me to another point. What a sad day for aviation. I remember a time not that long ago when you could go to the airport and see 747's, L10's, DC-10's, 707's, DC-8's, and 727's, and all on the same day and at the same airport. Now, it's almost nothing but twins. I realize twins are more efficient and all that jazz, but from a spotting perspective, they're just not very interesting.
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LAXintl
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:13 pm

Many passenger 747-400s will drop dead on December 31, 2018.

That is the mandated rule deadline to have the aircraft retrofitted with fuel tank nitrogen generation system.
Its a costly mod I know many operators have no interest in performing.
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airbuseric
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:22 pm

SV? or Air Atlanta Iceland. They will get 2 ex AF- B744's this year
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Andy33
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:24 pm

Quoting rta (Reply 16):
They're at 41 now

Actually 40, not 41. If current plans are kept to, it will be 36 by this time next year.
 
na
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:44 pm

QF is unsure, depending on when the last A380s arrive it will be some time between 2021 and 2024 I think.

I am also unsure about China Airlines. They have the youngest pax-744s, built in 2005, but they also have many 77Ws on order and do already retire 744s built in 1997. However at least the four youngest 744s will fly past 2020.

What about VS? Most of their 744s are post-2000 built, so technically they could fly some still around 2025.

LH will likely retire their last 744s in 2023 or 2024, or even 2025 if the 777-9 is a bit late which is not unlikely.

BA I expect to phase out the 744 in 2025, KLM as well. KLM operate the oldest 744s now, and if they continue to do so, flying them longer than others, they´ll be the last of the original airlines, with the very last frames leaving 2025/2026. But other than BA which have about 20 planes built in 1997-2000 KLM has only three such young 744s, so the chance BA might be the last is imho a bit higher as they could operate a viable small subfleet a bit longer.
 
TC957
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:47 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 27):
aircraft retrofitted with fuel tank nitrogen generation system

What's one of them supposed to do ?
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:54 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 27):
Many passenger 747-400s will drop dead on December 31, 2018.

That is the mandated rule deadline to have the aircraft retrofitted with fuel tank nitrogen generation system.
Its a costly mod I know many operators have no interest in performing.

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that piece of information. I agree that is likely to be the end for a lot of operators who might otherwise have held on to their 744s beyond that. Do you have any info regarding operators with large fleets who have already carried out the modification ?
 
lostsound
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:10 pm

Quoting _AA_777_MAN (Reply 21):

Probably United Airlines.

Unlikely as they've already announced the A350-1000 will be replacing these birds.
Expect UA 747s to start exiting in 2018.
 
UA444
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:14 pm

Quoting lostsound (Reply 33):

They said in a conference call earlier this year the bulk would fly into early next decade.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:57 pm

Quoting TC957 (Reply 31):
What's one of them supposed to do ?

Avoid TWA800 repeat. NGS system is designed to inert fuel tank. In 2008 final rule was passed mandating all large passenger aircraft have fuel tank inerting systems, and non types aircraft (like the 747-400) had till end of 2018 to be retrofitted.

The cost of the NGS system itself is $500,000 range for widebodies, but the headache is with the cost and downtime o the retrofit. As the business case for the 744 diminishes across the industry, its unlikely too many operators will be able to justify the added expense burden.

Quoting UA444 (Reply 34):
They said in a conference call earlier this year the bulk would fly into early next decade.

Dont read too much into that. They have already internally published tentative 744 draw down schedule that see last frame out by October 2018. Two frames were parked this fall, 2 more in 2016, 3 in 2017 and remainder in 2018.

Think the future of the 744 at UA will very much be guided by how global traffic demand does, the fleets reliability, and availability of other in service aircraft at the time to cover for it.
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seabosdca
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:09 pm

Let's look at the likely replacements for operators of newer frames:

BA: some frames replaced by A380, others by A350-1000, but neither order is large enough to account for the rest of the fleet. May be a candidate for additional A350-1000 orders or a 777-9 order, but neither is likely to be fully delivered before about 2023 at the earliest.
QF: Strategy seems to be shifting away from larger aircraft except on a few select routes, but it's still quite unclear what the airline will do, and it's likely to be a few years before they decide. I suspect they won't even have a strategy in place to make orders before 2018.
CI: Already a 777-300ER customer, they seem like a very likely 777-9 customer in the near future. They have the perfect use case for the 747-8 and they passed it up, so the 777-9 is the obvious choice. Wouldn't be surprised to see an order for delivery around 2022-2023.

Based on this, I think QF will be the last man standing.
 
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:14 pm

Quoting lutfi (Reply 1):

Delta was not an original operator per see. They got them from Northwest. If we went with all models my bet would be Lufthansa
 
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777Jet
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RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:16 pm

Quoting karungguni (Thread starter):
who will be last operator of the 747-400 (Passenger).

Whoever buys the QF 747-400ER birds when QF eventually decides to get rid of them.
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Re: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:43 pm

Will there be a clamour between the bigger airlines to A: NOT be seen as the last 744 operator ? Or, B: BE and make a show of being the last 744 operator ?
 
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 3:04 pm

jfk777 wrote:
BA or Qantas will be the last 744 original operators. Qantas because of their 744ER fleet which were very late produced. BA has so many 744 and they have not ordered planes to replace all of them. BA still has about 40 744 flying.


BA recently refurbished their cabins on the B744 fleet - all now have in-seat power and upgraded IFE. Of course, that expense could be written off in a year or two, but it is unlikely they would have done this if they planned on retiring the planes in the next few years.
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Andy33
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:09 pm

richierich wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
BA or Qantas will be the last 744 original operators. Qantas because of their 744ER fleet which were very late produced. BA has so many 744 and they have not ordered planes to replace all of them. BA still has about 40 744 flying.


BA recently refurbished their cabins on the B744 fleet - all now have in-seat power and upgraded IFE. Of course, that expense could be written off in a year or two, but it is unlikely they would have done this if they planned on retiring the planes in the next few years.

They have 37 in service now. Only 18 have been refurbished and these are intended to last beyond 2021, though how far beyond is unclear. How many of the unrefurbished ones are still with them in 2021 depends on the state of the economy. Originally they'd all have been gone by the end of 2020, now it seems 5 or so may still be there, probably because the replacements will arrive at a slower rate.
 
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Adipasquale
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Re: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:02 pm

JannEejit wrote:
Will there be a clamour between the bigger airlines to A: NOT be seen as the last 744 operator ? Or, B: BE and make a show of being the last 744 operator ?

I don't think the general public really distinguishes between models, meaning many wouldn't be able to differentiate a 744 from a 748. In which case CA, KE and LH will have their 748s long after the last 744 is retired.
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Sooner787
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:06 pm

Andy33 wrote:
richierich wrote:
jfk777 wrote:
BA or Qantas will be the last 744 original operators. Qantas because of their 744ER fleet which were very late produced. BA has so many 744 and they have not ordered planes to replace all of them. BA still has about 40 744 flying.


BA recently refurbished their cabins on the B744 fleet - all now have in-seat power and upgraded IFE. Of course, that expense could be written off in a year or two, but it is unlikely they would have done this if they planned on retiring the planes in the next few years.

They have 37 in service now. Only 18 have been refurbished and these are intended to last beyond 2021, though how far beyond is unclear. How many of the unrefurbished ones are still with them in 2021 depends on the state of the economy. Originally they'd all have been gone by the end of 2020, now it seems 5 or so may still be there, probably because the replacements will arrive at a slower rate.



Too bad BA never ordered the 748I...their livery would look incredible on that jet
 
lhrnue
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:16 pm

b747400erf wrote:
Quoting dergay (Reply 8): Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!
You think the Air Force has -400's and you also believe Donald T is going to be President. That says a lot about you.


Oh dear ... still can't blame you for your statement.
 
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RL777
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:29 pm

na wrote:
QF is unsure, depending on when the last A380s arrive it will be some time between 2021 and 2024 I think.

I am also unsure about China Airlines. They have the youngest pax-744s, built in 2005, but they also have many 77Ws on order and do already retire 744s built in 1997. However at least the four youngest 744s will fly past 2020.

What about VS? Most of their 744s are post-2000 built, so technically they could fly some still around 2025.

LH will likely retire their last 744s in 2023 or 2024, or even 2025 if the 777-9 is a bit late which is not unlikely.

BA I expect to phase out the 744 in 2025, KLM as well. KLM operate the oldest 744s now, and if they continue to do so, flying them longer than others, they´ll be the last of the original airlines, with the very last frames leaving 2025/2026. But other than BA which have about 20 planes built in 1997-2000 KLM has only three such young 744s, so the chance BA might be the last is imho a bit higher as they could operate a viable small subfleet a bit longer.


QF has stated it will not take up remaining A380 orders. I'd imagine at this point it will be down to BA or QF for the title of last pax 744 operator.
 
na
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Re: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:29 pm

According to current fleet plans the last 3 original 747-400 (pax) operators will be QF, LH and BA. With LH and QF planning final phase-out around 2023 (LH depending on 779-deliveries, QF on how long the last A380s on order are being deferred), I guess BA will be the last, with some birds flying until around 2025.
 
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Rookie87
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:53 pm

b747400erf wrote:
Quoting dergay (Reply 8): Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!
You think the Air Force has -400's and you also believe Donald T is going to be President. That says a lot about you.



He was right on one of them lol
 
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Rookie87
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Re: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:54 pm

When was the last 744 delivered to BA compared to QF?
 
blacksoviet
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Re: RE: Who Will Be The Last 747-400 Original Operator

Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:57 pm

aviatorcraig wrote:
Quoting dergay (Reply 8):Probably USAF - unless Donald T wants something bigger!
The USAF don't operate 744s as far as I know. The current VIP ones at Andrews ("Air Force One") are series 200s and will be replaced by series 800s


When will the 747-800s be delivered to the Air Force?

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