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B757Guy

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Gate

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I imagine the 777 will be around a bit longer than the 74, as well.... ;)

 

I could see the freighters staying in service for a while, but the passenger jumbos are definitely dead. I'd be shocked if there are any 747s left in regular passenger service by 2025.

 

 

Given that Lufthansa, Korean Air and Air China all have new-ish 747-8s, I think 2025 is a bit early, barring any unforeseen disruptive event in air travel. Definitely the -400s will be gone from regular carriers by 2025, and the -8s could conceivably be gone by 2030 depending on how much it costs to maintain a tiny subfleet of planes without significant global presence/support.

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747s have had a good ~50 year run. I would be surprised if 380s do that well and are built in such large numbers as the 747s.

I highly doubt that Airbus will sell anywhere remotely near as many A380s as there are 747s. But due to its tremendous passenger capacity and phenomenal efficiency, I think a few A380s will stay in the skies for a while, on the very high demand, long haul routes. OTOH, the 747s are less efficient and the design is a bit more suited for use as a freighter (that's why it got the hump), so even though the 747-8Is only entered service in 2012 or later, I doubt that they'll be suited for passenger service 10 more years from now. But I'm an Airbus fan, so it could just be wishful thinking. ;)

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The remaining 744's are running out of duty cycles and will eventually fail to survive another D-check. The 748 will remain viable in passenger, parcel, and heavy lift operations for many years to come. Later models of the A388 may survive longer than currently expected as a specialized passenger aircraft for use in uniquely constrained operations (LHR) and high volume short duration missions (military charter & Hajj pilgrimage). There is a possibility that it could also be modified to function in parcel service between the busiest freight hubs. That being said, it's the 777 which has the impressive operational flexibility, the substantially reduced maintenance costs, the exceptionally well proven safety record, and the high customer satisfaction (referring to airlines) to eventually meet or exceed the 747's historic longevity.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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The 748's in passenger service may be converted to freighter's after a relatively short time period...like what happened to the MD-11's....

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Thanks, love the 74, but can bid and hold a pretty decent line on the 777 at this point, so I can't complain!

What is this 'line' you speak of? Where I am you basically bid what days you want to work, and if you're lucky where you start your trip from. Now that I made captain and am at the bottom of the list again, I can barely manage even that.

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Very nice!

On my own carrier, they let us into first free, if available, but when I have traveled on other carrier's, they restrict us to coach....

I always get first on my carrier, but all we have are first class seats and bunks.

 

When deadheading international legs greater than three hours on passenger airlines we're contractually obligated to business class or better. This particular flight on Delta was LAX-SEA, so it was my status that got me the upgrade.

 

A few times when jumpseating I've managed to get first class. It's been more likely on RJs, but at least twice on mainline when the load was super light.

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Very nice!

On my own carrier, they let us into first free, if available, but when I have traveled on other carrier's, they restrict us to coach....

I always get first on my carrier, but all we have are first class seats and bunks.

 

When deadheading international legs greater than three hours on passenger airlines we're contractually obligated to business class or better. This particular flight on Delta was LAX-SEA, so it was my status that got me the upgrade.

 

A few times when jumpseating I've managed to get first class. It's been more likely on RJs, but at least twice on mainline when the load was super light.

 

I think the difference is, you are 'deadheading', and your carrier is paying the other carrier, so whatever the contract is between you, your carrier, and the other carrier, prevails.

In my case, it is 'pleasure' travel, so while I go 'D2R', or occasionally 'D1' on my carrier, and 'ID90' on other carrier's, that makes the difference...

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The 748's in passenger service may be converted to freighter's after a relatively short time period...like what happened to the MD-11's....

 

Possibly, but airlines that wanted a 748 freighter have presumably already purchased one, and could even order one today if they really wanted to, so where's the demand for P2F conversions expected to come from? With relatively few examples of standard configuration 748 passenger aircraft it's hard to imagine why Boeing (or anyone else) would want to start a major conversion program anytime soon. Without an official program who is going to certify it? How are the costs going to be economized and where will the sub-fleet support and maintenance services come from? The 748i is a weird mix of modern technology in an old package, and the large number of engines and small fleet sizes are likely to work against the long term economics for scheduled commercial service. However, the 748 would seem to be perfect for the specialized charter market and come at a lower risk and breakeven point than the A388's mentioned above. Maybe not at this very moment, but as charter configuration 744's are lost to cycles and accidents it's reasonable to assume they might be replaced with secondhand 748's. Charter operators don't have to worry as much about fleet optics or hard product service standards and the cost of fuel for four engines can simply be priced in as part of the charter contract.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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You bring up good points, and I really have no answer....I am just recalling when AA sold all their fairly new MD-11's to Fedex, and replaced them with the vastly superior 777's.

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You bring up good points, and I really have no answer....I am just recalling when AA sold all their fairly new MD-11's to Fedex, and replaced them with the vastly superior 777's.

Well I think in the case of the passenger MD11's worldwide, how many DID NOT end up at FedEx? If I remember correctly, the abundance of passenger MD11's really prevented MD from selling more new factory built freighters to FedEx. When I worked at FedEx, I remember when we ordered the A380 freighters and I left the company around the time the 777's were ordered.

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