Last week, Brussels Airlines sent their last ‘Jumbolino’ into retirement when aircraft ‘OO-DWD’ landed in Brussels after a short flight from Geneva. This last touchdown put an exclamation point on a long and successful career for the ‘AVRO RJ100’ aircraft type in the ‘SN’ fleet.
According to Brussels, the Jumbolino was part of their fleet for 15 years. 32 of them transported 31.5 million passengers over the course of 606,000 flights to 89 destinations.
A friend of mine, FlyerTalk & VFT member ‘Claudi STR’ was fortunate to be on the final flight of the Jumbolino and was kind enough to share some of her photos from the ‘Retirement’ flight.
The last safety briefing aboard the Avro’s last flight
Passengers received a souvenir to mark the retirement flight.
‘OO-DWD’ prepared for boarding her final passengers…
The Avro got its ‘Jumbolino’ nickname due to the fact that it has 4 jet engines, not unlike her much larger relatives like the 747, A380 and A340 aircraft…..
In the past, retired Jumbolinos have found new homes with other airlines as well as being repurposed to serve as fire-fighting aircraft around world. Though she won’t carry any more passengers for Brussels, there are a lot of hours left on her engines.
SWISS has once again updated their expected retirement date for the Avro RJ100 or as we like to refer to as the ‘Jumbolino’. She’s known as the Jumbolino due to the 4 jet engines that are strapped to the wings of a small regional aircraft.
Per SWISS’ previous update, the target retirement date was set for August 26, 2017 however they have moved the date up to August 16. Currently there are 7 ‘Jumbolinos’ left in service and most will be phased out over the summer months leading up to the August 16 date. At their peak in the LX fleet, 25 Jumbolinos were darting around SWISS destinations throughout Europe.
The reason for the minor shift is due to SWISS finally getting all the C-Series jets from Bombardier after extended delivery delays. Five have been put into service and one remains to be delivered. These aircraft will help fill in the void created by the removal of the Jumbolinos.
So for those of you who have a soft spot for aircraft entering retirement, start paying attention to the LX timetable for mid August. I suspect there may be another tweak or 2 left to the schedule before its finalized, but SWISS will publish the final timetable well ahead of the retirement party.
H/T: FlyerTalk’s Oliver2002
United has announced that it will phase out the Queen Of The Sky from their fleet by the end of 2017, versus original plans that had the 747 staying in the fleet until the end of 2018.
The remaining 747s are now all based in San Francisco where UA maintains most of the 747 maintenance facilities. The last United 747 left Chicago for good on January 3 as part of the fleet consolidation to SFO.
From last count, there are 20 of them left and they’ll be phased out during the course of this year as new planes are delivered to United.
Primary drivers for the decision include maintenance expense, fuel consumption, and new aircraft that are joining the fleet. There is also a new FAA maintenance directive that was announced the same day that United said the fleet would be retired a year earlier than expected. No doubt the expenses surrounding the directive played a role in the decision as well.
Regardless, United’s recent introduction of the 777-300 and the ongoing success of the 787 fleet, UA deemed it was time to move on to newer and better. Lets not forget the long list of A350s that UA has on order as well.
None of this comes as a surprise obviously as the newer aircraft with their improved efficiencies make the 747-400 all but a dinosaur in today’s airline world. Since being introduced to United in 1970, the 747 has been nothing but a wonderful and reliable workhorse.
Fortunately for us avgeek types, we still have the 747-8i to enjoy for the next couple of decades!