Home » Aviation: B777 overtakes B747 as the most popular Aircraft sold just as A330 sets to become number 2

Aviation: B777 overtakes B747 as the most popular Aircraft sold just as A330 sets to become number 2

by Atqnews
0 comment
Aircraft Niger aviation Guyana ASECNA airlines FBI Africa industry airlines Turkey Boeing aviation Airlines transport airspace

In Mar-2018 the Boeing 747 finally lost its crown as the world’s most successful widebody aircraft by the number of deliveries, when it was overtaken by Boeing’s 777.

The 747 made aviation history when it entered service with Pan Am in 1970 as the first ever twin aisle aircraft and the first commercial jet with two decks. The 747 was also the biggest commercial jet by seat capacity for 37 years from its entry into service until the Airbus A380 surpassed it in 2007.

It is testament to the 747’s eminence that it is still in production 52 years after the first order in 1966, even if today’s 747-8 variant shares little apart from outward appearance with its original 747-100 incarnation. It has outlasted many rival widebodies and production looks set to continue at least until 2022.

However, production is now focused mainly on the freighter version, and outstanding orders add up to only a fraction of the backlog for Boeing’s 777 and 787 and Airbus’ A350 and A330neo programmes. Jumbo the Elephant popularised the term ‘jumbo’ in the nineteenth century as a description of anything large. Today it is almost synonymous with the 747, underlining the iconic status of the only commercial jet with a popular nickname.
The 777 has overtaken the 747 as the world’s leading widebody by number of deliveries
As of 23-Apr-2018, a total of 1,544 Boeing 747 aircraft have been delivered. Until Mar-2018, this made it the most successful widebody jet of all time, ranked by the cumulative number of aircraft delivered.

On 28-Mar-2018 the delivery of a Boeing 777-300ER to United Airlines took the 777 ahead of the 747 for the first time. As of 23-Apr-2018, a total of 1,547 Boeing 777s have now been delivered.

With the 777 having 485 outstanding orders (mainly for the newer generation 777-9 and 777-8), compared with 42 for the 747, the reign of Boeing’s double-decker widebody is well and truly over.

The A330 is also closing in on the 747
Airbus has delivered 1,398 of its A330 widebodies and has 299 outstanding orders for the model as of 23-Apr-2018 (mainly for the newer generation A330neo).
This indicates that the 747 will be pushed down into third place behind both the 777 and the A330 in the next two to three years.

The first 747 order was 52 years ago! – in Apr-1966
The first 747 order was placed by Pan Am just over 52 years ago, on 13-Apr-1966, for 25 747-100s. The first aircraft was delivered to Pan Am on 12-Dec-1969, closely followed by a delivery to TWA in the same month.
The 747 was very soon operating under the colours of major airlines in all three of the world’s big aviation regions.

Lufthansa was the first European operator, taking delivery on 9-Mar-1970, followed by Air France in the same month and British Airways the month after. JAL was the first Asian operator, in Apr-1970.
By the end of 1970, Northwest Airlines, United, Alitalia, National Airlines (United Arab Emirates), Delta, Iberia, Eastern Airlines, Sabena, American Airlines and Aer Lingus were also operating 747s.

The first 747-200 variant was delivered to KLM in Jan-1971 and the first -300 was delivered to the French airline UTA in Mar-1983. The last deliveries of the earlier variants, in freighter versions, were in 1991.
The most successful variant, the 747-400, began its operational life with Northwest Airlines in Jan-1989.

A total of 724 aircraft of this variant have been delivered, just over half of the total for all 747s to date.
The final -400 delivery, a freighter, was to Kuwait’s LoadAir Cargo in Nov-2009 and the final few years of deliveries were dominated by freighter versions. The last 747-400 passenger delivery was to China Airlines in Apr-2005.
Boeing’s newest variant, the 747-8, first entered service with Cargolux in Oct-2011, in the freighter version. Lufthansa was the first airline to operate the passenger version, in Apr-2012.

More than half of the 505 Boeing 747s in service are freighters
According to the CAPA Fleet Database, there are 505 Boeing 747s still currently in service as of 23-Apr-2018.
More than half of these, 282 of them (or 56%), are freighter versions, while 212 are passenger jets (including corporate/government and similar) and 11 are combi versions (passenger and freighter combinations).

This concentration of freighters among the currently active 747 fleet is much higher than the freighter share of 40% of all 747s that have ever been delivered, reflecting the trend for cargo aircraft to have longer economic lives.

The 747-400 still dominates the active fleet
The most common variant series in the current 747 fleet is the 747-400, of which there are 356 in service (70% of the total), followed by the 747-8, of which there are 120.
The 747-400 fleet is divided into 197 freighter variants, 148 passenger aircraft and 11 combis. The 747-8s comprise 78 freighters and 42 passenger aircraft.
The active fleet also includes 14 747-200s, four 747-300s and 11 747SP aircraft (special purpose, including corporate, government and military use).

Europe is the biggest region for 747s in service
The biggest share of the 505 active 747s are in service with European operators, who deploy 201 of them (40%), while 156 (31%) are operated from Asia Pacific. North American operators have 107 aircraft (21%), the Middle East has 35, and Africa has six.
The biggest country for 747 operation is the US (105 aircraft), followed by the UK (47), South Korea (41), Germany (31) and Russia (29). The 747 remains active with the airlines of 39 countries.

There are 79 operators of 747s
The CAPA Fleet Database lists 79 current operators of 747 aircraft in service, of which 19 have only one aircraft, 34 have just two and the remaining 42 have at least three aircraft.
There are 17 airlines with 10 or more 747s in service, collectively accounting for 333 of the 505 aircraft (a 66% share).

The biggest single operator of 747s today is the US cargo airline Atlas Air, which has a total of 39. These comprise 26 747-400 freighter variants, nine 747-8Fs and four 747-400s for its passenger charter operation.

Number two behind Atlas Air is British Airways, which operates 36 747-400s, which is the world’s largest all-passenger 747 fleet. Third is Lufthansa, with a 747 fleet of 31 aircraft (13 747-400s and 18 747-8s, which is the world’s biggest 747-8 fleet).
Among the leading operators, fourth ranked Korean Air’s fleet of 27 747s has the widest range of variants, with 10 747-8s, seven 747-8Fs, seven 747-400 freighters and three 747-400s.

Cargolux Airlines International operates 23 freighter variants (14 747-8s and nine 747-400 freighters). China Airlines, Cathay Pacific and the New York-based cargo operator Kalitta Air also have more than 20 747s.

Source: centreforaviation.com

You may also like

Leave a Comment


ATQnews.com® a member of Travel Media Group is the online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. 


Latest News

ATQNEWS @2024 – All Right Reserved.

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin