Earlier today, Boeing released its forecast for the commercial aviation market for the next 20 years. This typically discusses what Boeing sees coming for the industry including demand for certain type of aircraft and the demographics of future customers.
What was noticeably absent from the 2017 version of this forecast was any talk of the 747. They have acknowledged that the 747 platform is being wound down, without any serious orders forthcoming.
For the first time in decades, Boeing is now looking to a future driven only by 2-engine aircraft, primarily the 737, 787 and upcoming 777x platforms. The forecast suggest that the aircraft market over the next 20 years will require over $6 trillion in new aircraft deliveries.
D-ABYT prepares for her first ever flight, a B1 test flight at Paine Field.
Of course this makes all the sense in the world since technology has allowed 2 engines to do the work of 4, and deliver passengers to their destinations in more comfort and safety than ever before. But for the aviation romanticists in the world that have always seen the 747 as the most beautiful aircraft in the sky, such a sobering moment doesn’t pass easily.
In their comments, Boeing stated that they were simply being realists in their projections and see that the era of 4 engine aircraft is drawing to an end. I guess all that’s left is to enjoy the Queen of the Skies for as long we can….
Related: Lufthansa 747-400 Gallery
Lufthansa 747-8i Gallery
A few weeks ago I mentioned that United was moving up the timetable for the retirement of the 747 fleet. They have now released a few more specifics, including what appears to be the final flight of their last 747.
The final flight is slated to be United UA892 that is scheduled to depart Seoul, South Korea at 10:25a on October 29. The ‘outbound’ leg to this turn will be October 27 and will be United UA893 that will depart San Francisco at 10:55a. A 777-200 is showing as operating the route beginning on October 30.
Keep in mind that events like this are subject to change and may not happen as they are currently planned. However, if you want to take the chance to take one of the last flights aboard a UA 747, round-trip Economy tickets are pricing in the high $600 / low $700 for these final flights. Business Class is in the $3800-$4200 area.
A few days ago, Lufthansa updated their timetable to reflect a switch in aircraft that will be used between Frankfurt and Detroit.
Beginning July 2, Lufthansa will begin flying the 747-400 on their daily flight to the Motor City, replacing the A340-300 that has been on the route until now. This will be the case at least for the Summer timetable which expires on September 29. LH will most likely downgage the route to a smaller aircraft for Winter 2017/18, but at least for the Summer and early Fall, passengers can enjoy the Queen of the Skies from DTW.
This covers flight LH442 that departs FRA at 10:00a and arrives in Detroit at 12:40p, and LH443 that departs Detroit at 3:50p, arriving in Frankfurt at 5:40a the following morning.