Last Boeing 747 Airplanes Officially Retired By British Airways Due To COVID-19
British Airways has decided to discontinue the use of their last two “Queen of the Skies” Boeing 747s. The move comes as the airline industry suffers due to the restrictions on travel because of the coronavirus as well as Boeing announcing the ceasing of production of 747s earlier this year.
With Airports Council International estimating 4.6 billion fewer passengers will travel in 2020 than in 2019 and Flighglobal estimating a $314 billion reduction in industry-wide revenue, many commercial airlines have had to make cost-cutting changes. One way to reduce costs is to replace fuel-guzzling aircrafts with smaller, more efficient passenger planes. British Airways had done as much when it announced the last flights of its two Boeing 747s last week, both taking off from Heathrow’s 27R runway. The first plane being retired to St. Athan, Wales, and the second in Kemble, England.
Boeing, the company that produces 747s, announced its own $2.4 billion loss in its second quarter. The report attributes this financial disaster to COVID-19 restrictions and the crashing of two 737 planes, killing an upward of over 300 people in 2019. Boeing announced in July of this year, “it will slow its production of the 787 and 777 models, push back an increase in 737 Max output, and delay the introduction of a new big plane, the 777X, by a year until 2022.” It later announce that they “will stop building the cargo-carrying version of its iconic 747 jumbo jet in 2022.”