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UA Will Retire This Plane in October

Scott Kirby, President of United Airlines, announced in an update to pilots that the carrier will be displacing the last of its 747 pilots in “late October,” although he did not specify the date for the aircraft’s last flight.

“It’s a bittersweet milestone — this jumbo jet with its unmistakable silhouette once represented the state-of-the-art in air travel,” Kirby said. “Today, there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated inflight experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights.”

To read more on this story, go to FlightGlobal.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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cyber1k March 22, 2017

I know I will hear a bunch of bottomline business numbers minded people respond to what I am about to say... but this gorgeous, elegant aircraft leaving what was formerly known as an elegant legacy airline, does not surprise me. It does keep me from bothering to resample the train wreck of a carrier that only wins for most ironically oxymoronish brand name. A smart leader would have noticed the distinction it has with the 747-400 and used its uniqueness in the market to reinvent itself, Reminds me of the dude named somebody Moses who thought a modern box of ugliness known today at NYC Penn Station should have replaced the extraordinary original Penn Station which if standing today would be on the top of sightseer destinations and applauded in architectural history books. Instead what replaced it is a symbol of a short-sighted race toward something regrettable that lacks meaning... all in the name of a buck at the moment.

BiPlane March 21, 2017

In United's case, many factors work against keeping their 747's flying. You cannot just slap another engine on the frame to fix the many issues facing these old aircraft. Replacement parts for this model are so difficult to find, that United has been reduced to cannibalizing their own, and others' retired aircraft just to keep them running. Additionally, maintenance facilities for this model have dwindled, as the numbers have diminished, causing United to limit the airports their 747s can serve. These servicing issues, combined with obsolete passenger amenities, make replacement a far more attractive alternative. The 777 300ER being introduced to their international routing this month carries eight fewer passengers with two fewer, but more efficient, engines and has the latest passenger amenities that customers expect on long-haul international flights.

BLONDIEandDAGWOOD March 20, 2017

This is truly a travesty in my opinion.

thebug622 March 20, 2017

I understand that its a heavy aircraft and that effects its flying costs but isn't it possible to design more fuel efficient engines to lower the flying costs?Many of the 400 series have plenty of flying hours left in the airframes