Hit by the coronavirus crunch, leading airlines have, one by one, announced in recent weeks that they’re dropping the Boeing 747.
This iconic jumbo jet, nicknamed the Queen of the Skies, is one of aviation’s most distinctive aircraft.
But British Airways, Qantas, KLM and Virgin Atlantic have all grounded their fleets, citing financial constraints brought about by the global pandemic.
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However, for super-fans of the wide-bodied plane, it isn’t over yet – several airlines continue to operate commercial flights on the aircraft.
Here are the carriers still flying the Boeing 747.
The German national carrier has both 747-400s and 747-8s in its fleet, with the latter offering a first-class area in the nose and the former business-class only.
Air China also boasts -400 and -8 versions of the aircraft, and has shown no sign of wanting to ditch the distinctive model yet. The -8s fly internationally, with first-class located in the nose of the jet.
Korean Air has 10 747-8s and two -400s. They won’t be around forever, but for the foreseeable future, at least.
“We will keep operating B747-400s for the time being, and currently do not have a particular timeframe for the phase-out,” a Korean Air spokesperson told The Points Guy.
Air India has four 747s, and doesn’t plan to get rid of them just yet. They’re used across various routes, including on domestic flights.
Thailand’s flag carrier currently has 11 747s in its fleet, mainly used on flights within Asia or to Australia.
All these aircraft offer first-class as well as business; but it remains to be seen whether they’ll take to the skies again following the pandemic.
This Spanish budget carrier counts five 747-400s among its fleet. They’re most often used by other airlines when they are short of planes, a practice known as wet-leasing. Norwegian, for example, used Wamos quite regularly when their own Boeing 787s were grounded in 2019 due to engine issues.
This subsidiary of Russian carrier Aeroflot currently has nine 747s.
They’re used for long-haul itineraries from Russia and, if you’re very lucky, you could even find yourself flying aboard Rossiya’s one-of-a-kind 747, painted to resemble a Siberian tiger.
This bijou airline solely offers services between Paris and the French Caribbean and Mauritius, plus charter flights. It has three 747s for this purpose, although there are plans to retire them next year.
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