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Boeing 747

Which airlines still fly "jumbo jets"?

4. September 2020

by Dag Christian Holm

The ongoing Corona pandemic has weakened the financial position for airlines across the world, where it has often become necessary to reduce or ground the fleet. The giants, Airbus A380 and not least the «Queen of the Air», Boeing 747, have remained on the ground in favour of more modern aircraft with lower operating costs. This is, of course, unfortunate for us who love flying «jumbo jets», but there are still some airlines where you can experience the B747.

The Boeing 747, or “jumbojet” as it is more popularly is called, is an icon. Its characteristic appearance attracts attention as soon as it appears at an airport. And that has been the case since its very first commercial flight in 1969.

Over the years, Boeing has launched several versions of the plane, and the variant that continues to fly is B747-400, which saw the light of day in 1988, and B747-8, where, among others, the second floor has been stretched a little extra to accommodate more passengers. The latter became operational in 2011. Passengers have always enjoyed the exclusiveness of sitting in the smaller cabin on the second floor, or in the front on the cabin on the main floor, where you actually sit in front of the cockpit, situated one floor above.

Although the Boeing 747-8 is in many ways a relatively modern flight, it falls short to the smaller Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, both of which are made of lighter materials, have more fuel-efficient engines and longer range – but with slightly fewer passengers. This is an aircraft type that the industry wants. They are flexible in the sense that they can land on shorter runways and require less maintenance – partly due to fewer engines.

In recent months, we have seen airlines such as British Airways, Qantas, KLM and Virgin Atlantic leave their B747 permanently on the ground. Besides, pure freight carriers such as Atlas Air have a total of 37 B747 (and 5 B747 passenger variants for charter).

These airlines are still operating operates Boeing B747

* Lufthansa operates both B747-400 and B747-8

* Air China operates both B747-400 and B747-8

* Korean Air operates B747-400 and B747-8

* Thai Airways operates B747-400

* Air India operates B747-400

* Wamos Air operates B747-400

* Rossiya operates B747-400

* Corsair operates B747-400

* Mahan Air operates B747