Fond Farewell

Surviving a fleet reduction

The 747 has served Qantas well, but all good things must come to an end. Craig Murray

They say that all good things must come to an end. In the sphere of airline fleets, sooner or later, aircraft outlive either their time or their purpose, no matter how great the sentimental attachment may seem. And as the images of final flights and boneyard resting places may appear front and centre, behind the scenes, the management of such a transition is a complex undertaking. 

As the sunset approaches The retirement of an aircraft type can come about for many reasons. In some cases, the aircraft is replaced by a more efficient airframe as the gradual decrease in four-engined fleets around the world can testify. Replaced by highly efficient twin-engined aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 and with ever-increasing Extended Range Operations, or EROPS, the days of the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 around the world are numbered. Here in Australia, the Qantas 747-400 fleet is slated for its ultimate retirement in March 2021, nearly half a century after the airline took delivery of its first Boeing 747, a ‘200 Series’ model. 

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