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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
The iconic and much-loved Boeing 747 revolutionised global travel over the past half century...but the Jumbo Jet's time is nearly over. Here are five reasons why
A fall in demand
On March 31 Japanese airline All Nippon Airlines operated its final flight using the 747 after nearly four decades of service. IAG-owned British Airways is reportedly planning to ‘retire’ about 25 747s by the end of the decade, and Singapore and JAL have already stopped flying passenger jumbos.
The 747 has four fuel-guzzling engines which have proved increasingly expensive to operate as oil – and hence aviation fuel – prices rose sharply in the late 2000s
The rise of the A380
The 747’s brash new rival – the giant A380 produced by the Franco-German Airbus Group – is more fuel-efficient than the Jumbo, given its use of new lighter materials and engine technology
For a long time the 747 held significant advantages over most other jets, notably a longer range and ability to carry more passengers than rival aircraft. But all that changed in the mid-1990s when Boeing and Airbus developed new wide-bodied jets – the 777 and A330, in particular.
The fastest growing hub airport in the world is Dubai and behind this growth has been the success of Emirates in positioning Dubai as a more convenient hub than Europe for Asian traffic to the West. Not surprisingly, Emirates which has become the most prominent cheerleader for the giant A380, and accounts for about 30 per cent of the aircraft’s 452 deliveries and confirmed orders so far.
To see more read The Jumbo Jet Set by David Churchill analysing the future of the Being 747