British Airways announced that it is retiring its entire Boeing 747 fleet due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A spokesperson from the company says it is unlikely that its 747s will ever operate commercial services for the company, due to the downturn in travel caused by the global pandemic. Boeing 747s represent 10% of the airline’s entire fleet.
British Airways already had plans to retire the planes in 2024. However, the pandemic fast-tracked the retirement of the ‘Jumbo Jet’. The airline announced it would now operate more fuel-efficient planes like the Airbus A350 and the 787 Dreamliner.
According to BBC, the decision may have stemmed from the need to cut costs, moving from the less fuel-efficient four-engine aircraft to fuel-efficient twin engines.
In May, Delta Air Lines opted to retire its entire 18 Boeing 777 fleet permanently. In June, Air Canada followed, retiring its Boeing 767s.
There are now around 500 Boeing 747s in service, with over 300 of them operating cargo services while 30 are flying passengers.