British Airways Retires Its Entire Fleet of Boeing 747 Jets
According to CNBC, British Airways (BA), currently the “largest operator of the Boeing 747, said it would retire its entire fleet of the iconic aircraft earlier than expected due to the coronavirus downturn.”
The airline, which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), had “originally planned to phase out the ‘jumbo jet’ by 2024. But travel restrictions due to Covid-19 led the company to take action now,” wrote CNBC.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect,” the airline said in an emailed statement to CNBC. “It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies’ will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again due to the downturn in travel caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic.”
At its height, BA had 57 of the 747s, “only surpassed by Japan Airlines, and the planes now reportedly represent approximately 10% of its total fleet,” reported CNBC. The news to retire all 747s comes “after Qantas Airways announced in June that it was retiring its six Boeing 747 planes immediately, six months before initially planned.”
BA “recently warned that 12,000 jobs were at risk due to the pandemic and the resulting hit to air travel. IAG’s stock is down 65% so far this year,” the report added. “The International Air Transport Association forecast last month that airlines were on track to lose $84 billion this year, and another $15 billion in 2021.”