Seven of British Airways retired Boeing 747s are heading to Russia. As most people know by now, British Airways is retiring its entire fleet of 747s, but not all of them are heading to the scrapyard. Seven will are going to be delivered to Russian carrier Rossiya Airlines within the next two months. By taking the seven 747-400s, Rossiya will have a total of 16 747-400s in its fleet.
Many aviation enthusiasts were devastated to learn recently that British Airways would be phasing out its stalwart Boeing 747s. But there’s no need to panic; at least seven aircraft are heading to Russia and will fly again.
According to Planespotters.net, Rossiya Airlines is set to take delivery of G-BYGA, G-BYGB, G-BYGC, G-BYGD, G-BYGE, G-BYGF & G-BYGG during October and November. The seven aircraft will join Rossiya’s existing fleet of nine 747-400s, which initially came from Transaero Airlines. Currently, Rossiya is using its 747s to fly domestic routes across Russia as well as flights to Antalya and Turkey. However, the airline plans to use its 747s on new routes to Thailand, so you may see the old British Airways 747s in Phuket.
British Airways 747s
British Airways announced earlier this year that it would be retiring its entire fleet of 747s after half a century of service. The airline had planned to retire its 747 fleet by 2024. However, it brought this forward as financial pressures mean the planes are no longer an efficient option. Now, the airline expects to make its final retirement by January 2021.
Like many airlines who have already retired their 747s, the quadjet aircraft will likely be replaced with the more fuel-efficient twinjet. However, it’s unlikely they will be replaced immediately. British Airways does not expect to see the industry recover from the current situation for several years, meaning that for now, the Queen will not be usurped.
For many, the announcement was tough to hear, the Queen of Skies giving up her throne at last. But, it turns out, not entirely. It will still be possible to see the planes flying for Rossiya. Something which might come as a bit of a surprise considering just last month, we reported that the Russian carrier was looking to acquire Russian-built aircraft.
Currently, the airline has 54 aircraft, all of which are either Airbus or Boeing. But the airline is hoping to grow its fleet to include aircraft from Russian manufacturers. The new fleet will include the MC-21 in place of Boeing’s 737 MAX. Apparently, the airline hopes to increase its fleet by as many as 250 aircraft.
But British Airways old 747s were too good of a deal to pass on. Delivery is due within the next two months, so we may see the planes back in the skies over Russia reasonably soon. However, due to the age of the aircraft, it may only be for a limited time. Despite this, many airlines still operate the 747 as cargo planes. Atlas Air, Cargolux, UPS Airlines, and Kalitta Air all have 747s in their fleet, and they probably won’t retire for several years. But, if you want to fly on one, Russia may be an excellent place to travel.