British Airways said it will retire all of its Boeing 747s since it suffers from the sharp travel downturn.
The airline is the world’s largest operator of the jumbo jets, having 31 planes in the fleet.
“It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect,” a BA spokesman told reporters.
Airlines across the world have been hit hard because of travel restrictions related to Coronavirus.
“It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies’ will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again due to the downturn in travel caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic,” the spokesman added.
British Airways, which is owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), said all planes will be retired with immediate effect.
It had planned on retiring the planes 4 years later but downturn has brought forward the date.
British Airways, at present, is the world’s largest operator of 747-400s and first took delivery of them 21 years ago. Originally, the upper deck has a lounge which was known as the ‘club in the sky’.
The British carrier added it will operate more flights on modern, more fuel-efficient planes such as its new Airbus A350s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
It expects them to assist it reach net-zero carbon emissions within next 30 years.
Boeing’s 747 helped democratise global air travel in the 1970s, and marked its 50-year flying anniversary last year in February.
US-based Boeing signalled the end of the plane’s production in 2019.
A wave of restructuring triggered by the virus outbreak is hitting airlines around the world, along with plane-makers and their suppliers. Thousands of job losses and furloughs have been announced in recent weeks.
Hundreds of BA ground staff face redundancy as the airline slashes costs in the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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