Why the ‘queen of the skies’ jumbo jets are flying into the ...


Why the ‘queen of the skies’ jumbo jets are flying into the sunset

ANALYSIS | British Airways’ move to retire the Boeing 747 is no surprise as passenger tastes shift

Alan Tovey

News that British Airways is retiring all its Boeing 747s with immediate effect might be sad for aircraft fans and sentimental passengers, but it’s certainly no surprise.

The famed jumbo jet has been flying off into the sunset for years now; coronavirus has simply sped up the journey. Passengers might prefer the extra space afforded by Boeing’s “queen of the skies” but, as always, economics trump their tastes.

The reason for BA’s decision is that giant, four-engine aircraft like the 747 are too expensive to operate. Many other airlines have made the same choice. First, there is maintenance. Keeping four engines running to the required standards is more expensive than modern twin-jets. This is compounded by the fact that many 747s have older engines which require more work than newer versions...

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