Qantas to retire 747


ANOTHER MAJOR network airline has announced it is to phase out its last Boeing 747s earlier than scheduled. Qantas will retire its remaining six 747-400s by the end of 2020 rather than the previously planned 2022 or 2023, ending nearly 50 years of operations with the Jumbo.

The Australian carrier has ordered six more 787-9s as replacements to serve on its international network to join the 14 it already operates. These aircraft will arrive by the end of 2020, the airline’s centenary year.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the announcement was “the end of one era and the start of another … Over the years, each new version of the 747 allowed Qantas to fly further and improve what we offered passengers. The Dreamliners are now doing the same thing.”

Joyce said the combination of the extra Dreamliners, the cabin refit of its A380s and the 747’s retirement “creates some really exciting opportunities”. Qantas is to invest in an additional 787 simulator to assist with training more pilots to fly the six new 787-9s, which will have the same cabin layout as those already in Qantas service. Mark Broadbent