Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Air India Won’t Phase Out Its Boeing 747 Fleet Yet

Reports earlier suggested that Air India was set to be the latest carrier to consolidate its fleet by retiring its older and larger aircraft. The targets of the planned reshuffle would have been none other than its remaining Boeing 747s. This would have brought an end to half a century of jumbo jet operations at the Indian flag carrier. However, the airline has since stated that such a phase-out will not happen imminently.

Reports in local media earlier today suggested that the country’s flag carrier had decided to withdraw its remaining Boeing 747 aircraft. This is a move that has become all too common among airlines worldwide in the last year. This is because the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced 747 operators to reconsider the iconic aircraft’s place in the modern airline industry.

For example, last year saw high-profile 747 retirements at established operators such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. It appeared that Delhi-based Air India was set to join this list.

In truth, the 747 is not the flagship that it once was at the airline. Indeed, Air India recently relegated it to domestic duties on higher-demand internal routes. However, in its absence from regular long-haul passenger traffic, the 747 has also flown VIP and governmental missions.

However, more recently, the airline has taken to Twitter to clarify its position. As seen in the tweet below, it has stated that there is no imminent end in sight for the type.

09/03/21 Jake Hardiman/Simple Flying

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