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Old Jan 17, 12, 3:08 am   #1
 
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Who has the most 747s?

Sitting at HKG earlier and glancing across the airfield, it struck me that I don't see as many Cathay 744s as I used to. Certainly at LHR, BA always has a good sized fleet on the ground.
Later, as we taxied out to the runway past the cargo terminal, I saw a BA "World Cargo" 747 - haven't seen one of those in ages (and it looked quite shiny - is that a new 747-800F?).
On arrival at Narita, JAL have a few, (and I remember in the "old days" United had many hubbing from there) but today, not much to show.

So anyway, the point is, who has the most 747s? I looked on Google and Airliners.net has a similar question from 12 years ago, Yahoo answers etc., but that's just the layman in the street making up answers, so I though I'd check with the oracles on here.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 3:12 am   #2
 
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BA if you only count passenger fleet . if you include combis/freight, not sure ...
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Old Jan 17, 12, 4:08 am   #3
 
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A lot of passenger 747s are in the process of getting retired. JAL used to have a heap, the last was retired last March. A few years ago, before the A380s started arriving, QF had 30. They now have 24 or 25 and they'll all be gone by 2019.

BA's fleet of 55 appears to be the largest from what I've been able to find.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 4:27 am   #4
 
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There is a nice summary here;

http://www.airfleets.net/exploit/production-b747.htm

BA has 52 flying which is the highest number,
Cathy has 45, second highest.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 4:28 am   #5
 
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For passenger versions, I seem to recall that BA always had the largest 744 fleet (once they were all delivered) and only JAL ever had more 747s. Is that correct ?
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Old Jan 17, 12, 4:35 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by dj_jay_smith View Post
There is a nice summary here;

http://www.airfleets.net/exploit/production-b747.htm

BA has 52 flying which is the highest number,
Cathy has 45, second highest.
Thanks. Some interesting stuff on other frames there, too.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 4:43 am   #7
 
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My guess would be BA as well most airlines have retired or phased them out in favour of other aircraft.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 4:44 am   #8
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Thanks for that - I would never have guessed that Kalitta had so many.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 5:36 am   #9
 
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For passenger versions, I seem to recall that BA always had the largest 744 fleet (once they were all delivered) and only JAL ever had more 747s. Is that correct ?
Yes.

The maximum BA ever had was 76 in 1998. In that year JAL had 80 747s operating, and JAL in fact had a maximum total of 83 in 1994. Up to 2007, when it started to retire it's 747 fleet, JAL operated more 747s than BA
And in the 70-90s Panam, Northwest/Northwest Orient, Air France, United, and TWA at varying times operated more as well.

[/geek hat off]
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Old Jan 17, 12, 5:59 am   #10
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Yes.

The maximum BA ever had was 76 in 1998.
Sigh, the high point of BA's jumbo services. I'm truly going to miss them when the Queens of the Sky are gone. I didn't miss Concorde much, I never found it terribly comfortable, and the A380 does nothing for me.

In 1998 the 747 fleet was, from a passenger's point of view, divided into 2 fleets, the 400 series, of which there were 45, had upper deck CW, but somehow they rammed 32 cradle passengers into it, compared to 20 passengers in broadly the same area today. Row 64 did not exist for some reason, so rows 60 (front of the cabin) and 65 (emergency exit row) were the sought after locations.

The 31 vanilla jumbos had a small upper deck but it was only for World Traveller passengers, with 35 passengers. Generally 3-3 arrangement but 56A and 56B were two seats on their own at the front of the cabin and I guess were the prized WT seats of their day.
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Old Jan 17, 12, 6:03 am   #11
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The 31 vanilla jumbos had a small upper deck but it was only for World Traveller passengers, with 35 passengers. Generally 3-3 arrangement but 56A and 56B were two seats on their own at the front of the cabin and I guess were the prized WT seats of their day.
I thought in the late 90's the 747-200's had Club up top???
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Old Jan 17, 12, 6:09 am   #12
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I thought in the late 90's the 747-200's had Club up top???
Not in 1998. Rows 56 to 60, upper deck World Traveller. Got the seat plan in front of me. CW was downstairs and split forward and aft, rows 12 to 15 in front, rows 17 to 22 behind, in basically a 2 - 4 - 2 configuration.

The rest of WT was rows 26 to 54, mostly 3 - 4 - 3.

In those days BA's 747s went to places like Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Perth (WA).
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Old Jan 17, 12, 6:44 am   #13
 
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I thought in the late 90's the 747-200's had Club up top???
I used to fly LHR-JNB-LHR a lot in them days.
Upper deck WT emergency exit, aisle seat was my favourite (and usual) spot.
I think it was on 300's (larger bubble, but no winglets) but the internet and FT hadn't been invented, so I was less of geek.

I can remember one flight back from JNB, sitting at the end of the runway up there, feeling the wind blowing the plane and it wobbling about. Captain came on and told us that we were very close to max take-off weight for JNB altitude and we moved out of the way for some other flights to go while we waited for a more favourable wind! Somehow, the reassuring "RAF" tones of the BA captain's voice meant it didn't bother me at all. Had I been on SAA, it may have made me more concerned that we were so close to the limit.

Before that, I recall having to stop in Nairobi for refuelling. I think partly because they were shorter range 200s, and partly due to a "no fly" rule over other parts of Africa (due to being on way to a pre-free elections South Africa).
Them were the days - you even got a menu in WT!
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Old Jan 17, 12, 10:39 am   #14
 
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Thanks for that - I would never have guessed that Kalitta had so many.
All old freighters, by no means all operate every day or even every month. You'll find them in places where the USA needs to haul a lot of freight - need I say Iraq (still) and Afghanistan. Remember how much those adventures are said to cost, and wonder what it gets spent on .....
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Old Jan 17, 12, 11:53 am   #15
 
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The 747-100 had 12 CW seats on the upperdeck and the 747-200 had 36 W/T seats.
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