British Airways has prepared plans to retire 13 of its 34 Boeing 747s, AirlineGeeks reports. The planes include those 747s that did not receive a cabin retrofit.

The wave of retirements, which accounts for just under half of British Airways’ 747s, will be completed in 2022.

The remaining 18 747s did have their cabins updated with new seatcovers and in-flight entertainment systems. Though British Airways will retire old 747s first, all retrofitted aircraft will have left British Airways’ fleet by 2024. It is possible that a number of updated planes will leave British Airways before 2022.

Three 747s will be retired before year end. One will leave British Airways in July, and two will be retired in November. Next year, five planes will be retired in May, June, September, and November. There will be one retirement per month except for November, which will have two. In 2021, 747s will be retired in January, February, and June. The last two 747s in this plan will be retired in November 2022.

The oldest of the 747s to be retired will be G-BNLN, which is 28.5 years old. It will be the first to retire in July 2019.

To celebrate its own history and the history of the 747, British Airways will paint some 747s in the old BOAC livery. The first repainted 747 will roll out of the paintshop on February 18th, nine days after the 50th anniversary of the 747’s first flight.

These 747s will be replaced by modern fuel-efficient planes that are cheaper to operate than the 747. British Airways will take new Boeing 777s and 787s and Airbus A350s to take over services that the 747 currently operates. The airline will take twelve 787-10s by 2023, including six in 2020. Two 777-300ERs will be delivered in 2019, and British Airways’ first A350, which may replace the first 747 to retire, will be delivered in July.

A number of airlines still operate passenger variants of the 747, but the aircraft is disappearing from the sky. Click here to learn which airlines still fly the plane so you can travel on it before it disappears.

Featured image by David Xian/Aeronautics Online

Categories: Pilot and Plane

One comment

British Airways Finalizes 747 Retirement Plans

  1. It will be very interesting to if BA stick to these dates. I used to regularly travel on a long-haul Caribbean route served by BA’s 767-300s, which were regularly going tech and definitely reaching the end of their useful lives. We were told they were scheduled for retirement and replacement by 787s in mid-2015 but not only was that date put back by about a year but the replacements were 777-200s, some of which are nearly as old as the 767s. A crew member on one of my flights said BA had been re-scheduling deliveries of new aircraft to cut costs and squeezed another year’s service life out of the 767s.

Comments are closed.