Qantas set to retire B747-400

Qantas B747-400

In a series of events relating to B747-400 these days which are not very pleasant, Qantas is adding to it by confirming the retirement of their B747-400. This comes at the same time KLM is also retiring their B747s. Due to the current trend in aviation resulting in low demands, airlines are forced to suspend their routes and ground aircraft. As per reports all their aircrafts have been sold. Qantas has a history with Boeing 747s having operated all their variants except the B747-8.

Retirement of the B747-400

Qantas announced it would be retiring all their 747-400 aircraft this weekend and that its operating its last flight which is on its way to Sydney now. Qantas has 5 remaining B747-400 aircraft in its fleet. It has been associated with using the B747s since 1971 when it first operated the B747-200. It is also the only customer of the B747-400ER which offers an extra 925km in range compared to the B747-400.

Qantas B747-400 VH-OEE

Qantas will operate this aircraft registered as VH-OEE from Santiago to Sydney in what is set to be its last flight for the airline. Photo: Aerowanderer

The final flight will be operated from Santiago to Sydney as QF28 using a B747-400ER registered as VH-OEE and would arrive on March 28th at 17:50 local time.

Qantas QF28 SCL-SYD

The last commercial flight of Qantas before retirement. Photo: Flightradar24

The 747s were originally destined to be retired by the end of 2020 but the unexpected crisis has lead to the speedy retirement of the aircraft.

Reasons for speedy retirement of the 747 ?

Airlines all over the globe are trying to cut costs at this time and are suspending routes and grounding aircraft. Older aircraft of airlines are falling prey as airlines are retiring them on priority to cut expenses. This is because older aircraft have high maintenance costs and have more capacity, which is both not required by airlines at the moment.

KLM B747-400M

KLM currently has 5 x B747-400M which are also known as B747-400 Combi which will be retired Photo: Jakkrit Prasertwit via Wikimedia commons

These are being replaced with more fuel efficient and newer aircraft such as B787 and A350. Qantas adds to the list of airlines such as KLM who are retiring their 747s today as well as other airlines such as Virgin Atlantic who have retired their A340-600 and AA who have decided to speed up the retirement of their B757 and B767.

Airlines are retiring older aircrafts which were once the symbol of the airline and skies. Who would have thought we weren’t going to see the KLM’s iconic B747 or Qantas B747 anymore ? But reality is unexpected situations calls for unexpected measure and this is one of them airlines are resorting to. We hope this would be the last of the Jumbo’s being retired and they will live to grace the skies for a long time.



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