The Queen of the Skies is approaching her abdication. British Airways (BA) has announced that its 31 Boeing 747-400s will never fly again. There are still more than 500 747s in service with other airlines, though many are grounded because of the coronavirus crisis. But BA was the 747’s biggest operator. Its immediate retirement of its 747s marks the demise of the jumbo plane’s 50-year reign.

BA’s announcement follows similar decisions by airlines such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Air France. The last 747 in the Qantas fleet last week did a farewell sweep over Sydney and then flew across the Pacific to Los Angeles, before heading for its final resting place in the Mojave Desert...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now