British Airways announces 747 retirement plans

It’s a sad day for aviation lovers everywhere as British Airways announces the schedule for retiring their iconic 747 fleet. British Airways (BA) will be replacing the aging fleet with newer, more fuel efficient wide-bodies such as the Boeing 777-00ER and Airbus A350. Of the current 34 747-400s BA owns 13 of them (which did not receive a cabin overhaul) will see retirement starting in July of this year with the last of the first 13 being retired in November of 2022. The last 747 will see retirement in early 2024.

747 retirement sched - Travel Radar - Aviation News

With this announcement BA said they intend to repaint four of the aircraft with heritage liveries for their 100th anniversary. The first one will be unveiled in mid February wearing a commemorative BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) livery which is one of 3 other airlines that merged to form British Airways.

British Airways took delivery of their first Boeing 747-400 in July of 1989 and currently operates the largest fleet of 747 aircraft in the world.

andrew W sieber 747 400 - Travel Radar - Aviation News

The eighteen 747s that aren’t slated for retirement until after 2022 were recently refitted with Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment systems, new seat coverings as well as a new mood lighting system to match those seen in their A380s and 787s.

“We have recently taken delivery of our 12th A380 super jumbo and have now have 13 Dreamliners in our fleet, however the iconic Boeing 747s remain an important part of our fleet, that many of our customers love” said Troy Warfield, Director of customer experience.

“We know customers who fly the revamped 747s really appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, better seating and new state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, making their flight just fly by.”

The retrofit also saw BA’s World Traveller Plus premium economy receive
Universal power outlets at every seat allowing customers to use plugs from the UK, US and Europe.

colin cook 744 - Travel Radar - Aviation News

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Jake Smith
Jake Smith
Director of Special Projects - Jake is an experienced aviation journalist and strategic leader, regularly contributing to the commercial aviation section of Travel Radar alongside leading strategy and innovation including livestreaming and our store.


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