Replacement aircraft on BA 747 routes

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Old Aug 12, 20, 11:39 pm   -   Wikipost
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With the sad news from Waterside marking an immediate end of life for the venerable Boeing 747-400, our eyes will be on our bookings as we await news of exactly which replacement aircraft type will take us to our destinations.

Listed below are the routes the 744 served in pre COVID times. Please add notes of replacement aircraft as and when the updates trickle through.

Accra
Sep: 1x daily 777-200ER

Austin
Sep: no service

Bahrain
Sep: 3x weekly 777-200ER

Boston
Sep: 2x daily 777-200ER/A350-1000

Cape Town
Sep: 3x weekly 777-300ER

Chicago
Sep: 2x daily 787-9/A350-1000

Dallas Fort Worth
Sep: 1x daily 787-10

Denver
Sep: 1x daily 777-200ER
Feb 21: 1 x daily 787-9

Dubai
Sep: 1x daily A350-1000

Houston
Sep: 5x weekly 777-200ER

Johannesburg
Sep: 1x daily 777-300ER

Kuwait City
Sep: 3x weekly 777-200ER

Lagos
Sep: 1x daily 777-200ER

Las Vegas
Sep: 1x daily 777-200ER (3 class)

Los Angeles
Sep: 2x daily 787-9

Miami
Sep: 1x daily 787-9

Nairobi
Sep: 4x weekly 777-200ER

New York JFK
Sep: 4x daily 777-200ER

Philadelphia
Sep: 1x daily 787-9
Oct onwards: 1x daily A350-1000

Riyadh
Sep: 4x weekly 777-200ER

San Diego
Sep: no service

San Jose, Ca
Sep: no service
October 24th onwards 1x daily 787-9

San Francisco
Sep: 1x daily 777-300ER

Seattle
Sep: 1x daily 787-10

Vancouver
Sep: 1x daily 777-200ER

Washington Dulles
Sep: 1x daily A350-1000
Jun 21: BA217/6 787-9










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Old Jul 16, 20, 8:54 pm
  #1  
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Replacement aircraft on BA 747 routes

Hey, so I know the 747 retirement woundís still fresh but Iíve just been thinking about what aircraft would replace the 747 on routes for next summer (2021) when demand would have picked up a little bit.

- The A35K or 772 could replace the 747 on some African routes (ACC, LOS, CPT) and maybe one of the two (or even the 787/77W) could complement the A380 on JNB (if theyíre back - I read somewhere 6 will
be activated this winter).

- The US market is more complicated to predict but in an ideal recovering world with zero to little Covid cases, Iíd assume the 77W/772 would be consolidated on the JFK route with a mix of A35K, 787s & 777s on other routes, depending on demand & distance. LAX & SFO I assume will have an A380 plus another wide-body. MIA, SAN & DEN could go A35K/772. SEA, ATL & DFW could be 78X based off plans for this summer. I think we could see the 78X on more east coast routes like EWR, PHL & IAD.

- For the Middle East, I think the 772 could easily replace all 747 routes as they swapped them often.

Itís so interesting to think about and I know Iím just speculating but what does everyone think ?
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Old Jul 17, 20, 3:28 am
  #2  
 
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The 747 was only on most US routes because it had a lot of business class seats (when refitted), fair cargo space, and had a low total operation cost on a short route (the aircraft being fully paid and the increased fuel consumption being less significant on a short route). So it could be replaced by a 777, 787, or A350 in most cases. It's not like passenger loads will be back up to previous levels (especially in premium cabins on business routes) anytime soon.

The exception, I believe, is Phoenix where the 747 had better performance margins on departure in the hot-and-high environment, enabling a good cargo load as well as passengers. Jo'burg can have the same issue.

Other routes could be handled by a 777 or an A350. Maybe PHX can be handled by the A350, even (I'd love to hear comments on this from an actual BA pilot or engineer).
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Old Jul 17, 20, 4:36 am
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It will be intriguing as I've just took a chance and booked Vegas for April which was originally a 747 but suspect its now most likely to be a 777. Not sure what has flown historically when aircraft changes have occured
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Old Jul 17, 20, 4:52 am
  #4  
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Thereís a fair number of conundrums to be considered. Will the four B77Ws arrive on time, will A350 and B781 deliveries arrive as planned, will A380 flights have to be de-risked further because there wonít be any B747s as a back-up when an A380 goes tech, will LHR LH flights take precedence over LGW leaving a few aircraft available to operate LGW LH routes.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 4:56 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by In_FrequentFlyer View Post
It will be intriguing as I've just took a chance and booked Vegas for April which was originally a 747 but suspect its now most likely to be a 777. Not sure what has flown historically when aircraft changes have occured
A B772 has regularly flown to LAS, several times a week from LGW, and occasionally from LHR when the BA271 was operating.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 5:46 am
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I shall certainly miss going upstairs on the 747 for the 9pm ish departure after a heavy 3/4 days in Vegas. Rarely took the F&B and managed a good 6/7 hours sleep home. Won't be the same on a 777
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Old Jul 17, 20, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by In_FrequentFlyer View Post
It will be intriguing as I've just took a chance and booked Vegas for April which was originally a 747 but suspect its now most likely to be a 777. Not sure what has flown historically when aircraft changes have occured
My guess is a 3 class 772.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 5:56 am
  #8  
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Maybe a lot of that capacity will just not be required for the foreseeable future and no deliveries will be pulled forward. Those 744 frames are all paid for and fully depreciated now so costs are basically fuel and maintenance only whereas taking on new 77W / A35K / 787 occur a high cash outlay or high monthly lease costs.

Fuel is also relatively cheap at the moment so if the capacity was expected to return in the short-medium term it would probably have been better to retain say half the 744 fleet as active and use thew rest for spares to keep these flying.

My money is on no new deliveries being pulled forward earlier, capacity is just not going to return anytime soon.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 6:05 am
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Originally Posted by BOH View Post
Maybe a lot of that capacity will just not be required for the foreseeable future and no deliveries will be pulled forward. Those 744 frames are all paid for and fully depreciated now so costs are basically fuel and maintenance only whereas taking on new 77W / A35K / 787 occur a high cash outlay or high monthly lease costs.
Very well said.
Rolls Royce H1 results mentioned that they foresee their power-by-the-hour business to be at 70% of 2019 by end of 2021. It means that 18 months from now we'll still be 30% lower, in terms of flying, than where we were 6 months ago. And this is long haul only! I think we need to face the truth: some, maybe a lot, of the routes previously operated by a 747 (or by other airplanes) won't be around for the foreseeable future. For instance, given the current situation and the spectacular ineptitude of specific US states, I doubt we'll see many second-tier cities restarting shortly, and even some "1st tier".
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Old Jul 17, 20, 9:15 am
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well i'll have some insights soon, LOL. i have a LHR-JFK and LAX-LHR booked in november both on the 747.

i purposely booked the return from LAX on the 747 expecting it to be swapped or retired, and saved a few $$ since the west coast 747 flights were always slightly cheaper.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 9:49 am
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Looking forward to finding out what will be replacing the Queen on the DEN route. My and my wife have a rescheduled (from April 2020) award trip (FC) in April 2021 to LHR. Hope this does not mean the scrapping of the route, unless they move us to another US West Coast airport. (Originating from Eugene, Oregon)
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Old Jul 17, 20, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by Klrduks View Post
Looking forward to finding out what will be replacing the Queen on the DEN route. My and my wife have a rescheduled (from April 2020) award trip (FC) in April 2021 to LHR. Hope this does not mean the scrapping of the route, unless they move us to another US West Coast airport. (Originating from Eugene, Oregon)
Well it used to be a 777 until a few years ago.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 10:26 am
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With it currently looking like there may be a bounceback 'v-shaped graph' economically wise, what would happen if BA dumped the 747 then discovered they were short of aircraft?
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Old Jul 17, 20, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by stampcollector View Post
With it currently looking like there may be a bounceback 'v-shaped graph' economically wise, what would happen if BA dumped the 747 then discovered they were short of aircraft?

I doubt that will happen. There are 11 more brand new widebodies due for delivery this year as well as those due in 2021 and 2022. Bear in mind the 747s were being retired anyway with five more scheduled to go this year. So far only three have physically gone so until, the others get farmed out to the scrappers, BA will still be able to bring some back into service if an extarordinary bounceback does happen, although it will have to be a big bounce back as they'll have to retrain pilots etc.
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Old Jul 17, 20, 10:49 am
  #15  
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Even if there is a v shaped recovery - and that is a big if - travel is likely to be one of the slowest recovery sectors. Businesses will be apprehensive, and have found that online working is finally viable. Governments are going to be slow to remove travel restrictions and then quick to reinstate if anything changes which is going to undermine leisure travel greatly.

Even if there is a swift recovery I imagine BA would be happy to focus on high yielding passengers if short of capacity.
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