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Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 to Become First Aircraft Casualties of Pandemic

Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747 are likely to become the first aircraft casualties of the ongoing global crisis as the airline industry continues to shrink by the worldwide lockdown. ( More...

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James Simms 5
Remember vividly flying into Kai Tak on a Thai International 747 on the right window seat. Looked out into someone’s apartment whilst they watched TV. Sad to see it leave.
James Simms 2
Flew on a Northwest Orient military charter MAC flight from St. Louis to Osan AFB via Oakland & Yokota AFB (12 hour hop) w/450 military personnel, military dependents (& screaming babies).

On leave in Korea, flew Thai International 747 from Sopeoul to Manila, then to Bangkok, Hong Kong, & back to Seoul via Taiwan.
Larry Toler 2
Northwest as a military charter, that's back in the day. While I was stationed at RAF Mildenhall our Freedom Bird was a Northwest 747-200 from Frankfurt on Saturdays and then continue on to Philadelphia.
James Simms 2
Flew into Philly via Rhein Main AB in Frankfort, Germany returning from Desert Shield/Desert Storm on an ex-Flying Tigers 747 w/a small FedEx sticker next to the door. Was a hoot walking through security w/a weapons case in each hand.

Probably could have flown down to DHN (Dothan, AL) in the 747 to our Mob/DeMob station @ Ft. Rucker, but I don’t think either the runway was strong enough to support a 747 or could have been the flight crew were out of hours. So we waited in the bar waiting on a second charter having our first real beer in nearly seven months.
Larry Toler 2
That's when I was at Mildenhall. I volunteered to go down range, but our 5th Mobile Aerial Port got it and we already had enough out of my squadron, 313th Aerial Port. I did deploy to RAF Brize-Norton to airlift RAF troops and equipment using a few of our C5's for their version of Desert Shield.
Scott Sample 5
Just booked a British Airways flight in November, and they are still showing the 747 for the SFO->LHR leg. I have flown this route monthly (until just recently :), and am very happy to have both the A380 and B747, for different reasons. I'm lucky to be able to fly first usually, and there is nothing like sitting in 1K coming into London :)
ADXbear 8
Thats a stake in our aviation hearts.. i never got my 747 trìp . Sad
Geoff Rowe 3
Sorry that you never made it on the Queen of the Sky! I’m fortunate to have flown both B744 (and a few of the older variants as well) and A388 in my time. I will never,ever forget seeing Greenland hove into view of the jump seat of a B744. Naturally that was pre 9/11!
James Cross 1
Lufthansa will still be flying at least the 748! They've also announced retirement of some, but not all, 744 – so there's a chance :)
djames225 1
Unfortunately with the way things are looking for Lufthansa today, they may be retiring all B744 and a chunk of A380's earlier than expected. It also announced it's "parking" all A340-600's for at least a year, slashing AS40-300's, and scaling back on other craft.
Also to note, that is if they can get state loans etc from the area within the next few weeks.
anlelmc 3
Sad indeed ...
My first flight on a 747 was from San José Costa Rica to JFK in the early 80s. With PAN AM!
It was my third lifetime flight on the same trip. We had just made 2 local flights in Cessa 185.
Imagine the interrogations we had when they disconnected the generators on the ground before departure. Big plane, complete silence ... Can this happen during our next flight?

Well no, we arrived at JFK alive and sound. While waiting for our flight back home for Montréal we saw the Concorde passing by.
Sad indeed...
The 747 was great to fly in, but I can imagine that many in the lower deck, and in the front, felt claustrophobic. My only flight in one was where I was sitting int he lower deck, about midway back. I looked at the nose area a couple of times, and remember thinking that it looked stark. Just the end of the plane, no windows, and being glad I was in an area where there was windows. Not that I could see all that much once the wings started creating lift.

It was a flight into MIA, and a treat, after seeing so many flying around the airport near my grandparents house. Seeing them appearing to hang in the sky as they look like they are coasting into the airport. And one after another, over and over again. So many 747's... So cool...
aurodoc 3
I flew many flights on the 747 from the West Coast to Germany on both United and Lufthansa.

From SFO to Frankfurt Lufthansa flew a 747 combi with cargo in the back half. The captain took me back there during the flight to show me a car he was taking back to Germany and also a pair of horses someone was shipping to Europe

I also had a flight on a big orange 747 from Dallas to Frankfurt on Braniff.

Always felt safe and comfortable on these flights and will be sorry to see them disappear although Lufthansa is still flying the 747-8
Derek Vaughn 5
This is mostly horse hockey. There won't be as many 74's and A380's flying in the future, but to say both types are done with passenger service is crazy. Even if previous traffic levels don't return for 5 years, many of these planes will be back in the sky.
djames225 2
"Due to this pandemic, Corsair retires it's 747 fleet earlier than scheduled", along with KLM. Add to that Qanats id "storing" its 747 fleet with speculation of early retirement for the lot. Along with Lufthansa saying goodbye to all it's B744's, BA has also had a rethink this past week, about a good chunk of it's fleet, and early retirement. Sad day to see many of the "Queen" leaving skies earlier than anticipated.
Many airlines have also brought about early retirement for their A340 fleets, and pondering their removal of many, or for some, all of their A380's.
Joe Fiala 2
The best appreciation that I had of the 747 size was returning from Sydney in late 80's on United 747 that we boarded via stairs from tarmac due to construction at Mascot. It was very impressive to walk up to it from a 100 meters away then up two flights of stairs. It was surreal to think that this machine would fly in a controlled manner across an ocean. And I bet my life that it would all work.
David Stark 2
False attribution. The 747 and 380 were on the chopping block before the pandemic.
First time I saw a 747 was Fall 1969. I had just declared Course 16 (Aero/Astro) as my major at MIT. Was playing rugby. Our game paused while a 747 departing Logan passed nearby. It looked sooo big and sooo slow. Within a year, the Boeing 2707 (SST) was cancelled, ditto the MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory -- the Air Force Space Station), and it was a good time to go to grad school while the industry recovered.
robin guess 1
I am still hoping the fly the queen 1 more time. I had planned on flying BA next week in Club World upper deck. I wonder if any of the current 747-400 operators are looking at converting some into a "Combi" configuration to haul more freight and less pax.
Jim Ward 1
Vostok station in the Antarctic reported No Covid 19.
Just return from there.
djames225 2
If it's anything like Nunavut Territory here, there is a mandatory 14 day quarantine period before venturing there. Not 1 single case so far.
matt jensen 1
Now is when you need those two the most.
indy2001 1
Other than the Concorde, the 747 is the most beautiful passenger aircraft that I've seen (the Vickers VC-10 was also a real looker). The Queen has also has played a role in many important events in my life. The original -100s and -200s carried me to Europe for 3 backpacking trips with college buddies and later students, took me to visit my Scottish grandparents a number of times, allowed my newly-wed wife to meet my 96-yr-old grandfather while he was still alert and active, and took me to the funerals of both grandparents. Then the -400 took my wife and me to over a dozen beautiful places all over the world, and also experience what business class and first class are like. The small upstairs cabin is/was a great place to fly, especially on BA, since it gives the intimacy of a much smaller aircraft. The A380 is a fine plane and we've flown it (in business class) a couple of times, but it doesn't impress us like the 747.
Air France had economy class seats upstairs, with a bit more leg room and only 50$ surcharge. I used the several times from YUL to CDG and back, it was so quiet that real sleep was possible on the overnight eastward flight.
WhiteKnight77 1
I enjoyed the smoke filled Flying Tigers MAC charter flights from LAX to Kadena AB on Okinawa in the 747-200s they had. Even flying in the back, I was able to pass out (really tired and had been drinking prior to the flight) shortly after take-off and not wake up until 30 minutes outside Anchorage that included a stop in Oakland that completely slept through. Their pilots made some good flights.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Viv Pike 9
Good grief, you are a right grumpy old fart. Get a life.
Totally agree. How sad to "live" a life like that. Surprised he did not blame "third world pilots" as he normally does
Torsten Hoff 5
This is not about the end of production, but the end of service. All the big four holers are being retired from active passenger service.

Some 747s will probably live out the rest of their lives hauling freight, but that's not an option for the A380.

I remember the first time I saw a A380 come into LAX when the service started, and I was in awed by the size of the aircraft. It doesn't seem that long ago.
Geoff Rowe 11
I'm seriously going to miss the A380, it was so quiet and comfortable. It is also an incredible sight sitting at the gate!
David Stark 1
I don't know what the others are griping about. You are correct.


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