Early Retirement - Boeing 747
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March 29, 2020 - by Richard Schuurman for airinsight.com
Covid-19 not only seems to wipe out a generation of vulnerable and elderly men and women, but as a consequence of the effect it has on aviation also the vulnerable and elderly aircraft types.
We witnessed this on March 29, when two airlines early-retired their last Boeing 747s. Qantas operated VH-QEE for the last time as it arrived in Sydney from Santiago de Chile.
Phasing out the last five 747s in the fleet and replacing the quads with twin-engined Boeing 787-9s was always the plan, but Covid-19 speeded this up. Qantas is winding down international operations by some 90 percent and parks its long-haul fleet for the coming weeks. Nobody knows what happens after that, but all indications are that a return to normal will be progressive and careful. In these circumstances, efficient and thus cheaper to operate aircraft are preferred over the old generation.
Hence the retirement of the Jumbo, which has served...
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