Tag Archives: British Airways

Want to fly on a Boeing 747-400? – Hurry up, your options are narrowing

Large wide body airliners (like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747) have been hard to fill for airlines since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded around the world this spring. Many airlines have parked their Jumbos and some have moved up the planned retirement dates of the Boeing 747-400.

If you want to fly on the passenger type you better hurry. Other than governments and cargo operators, finding a passenger Boeing 747-400 flight is a challenge right now.

Some aircraft in storage will probably become active again when the passenger demand dictates the use of large wide body aircraft again. If the demand does not come back quickly it will probably mean the end of those aircraft in storage.

Above Photos: Boeing.

Below is the current situation based on the latest information for passenger airlines (corrections and additions are always welcome) (subject to change depending on returning traffic):

Air Atlanta Icelandic – The charter and ACMI specialist airline has five passenger 747-400s. Three are currently stored and two are operating on ACMI assignments.

Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-412 TF-AMI (msn 27066) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 928104.

Above Copyright Photo: Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-412 TF-AMI (msn 27066) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 928104.

Air China – Two 747-400s are operational (B-2445 and B-2447) but they stay mostly in China these days. Another aircraft (B-2472) is operated for the government. Air China also continues to operate the newer 747-800.

2 operational (B-2445 and B-2447) + 1 VIP (B-2472)

Above Copyright Photo: Air China Boeing 747-4J6 B-2445 (msn 25882) JFK (Ken Petersen). Image: 902765.

Asiana Airlines – Only one 747-400 passenger aircraft (HL7428) is active these days so the type is probably ready to be retired this year.

Passenger version being retired by Asiana, down to one aircraft (HL7428)

Above Copyright Photo: Asiana Airlines Boeing 747-48E HL7428 (msn 28552) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 910887.

Atlas Air – The charter and ACMI specialist airline currently has three active passenger 747-400s (N464MC, N465MC and N480MC). Assuming charter demand continues this airline could be one of the last passenger operators.

Atlas Air Boeing 747-446 N465MC (msn 24784) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 921869.

Above Copyright Photo: Atlas Air Boeing 747-446 N465MC (msn 24784) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 921869.

British Airways – The former largest 747-400 passenger operator has stored all 28 aircraft pending a return of passenger demand. For now, G-CIVO operated the last revenue flight (BA9116 LOS-LHR) on May 11, 2020.

British Airways Boeing 747-436 (Tails) LHR (Dave Glendinning). Image: 908409.

Above Copyright Photo: British Airways Boeing 747-436 (Tails) LHR (Dave Glendinning). Image: 908409.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – As previously reported, PH-BFT operated the last regular revenue flight (KL686 MEX-AMS) on March 29, 2020. However the Jumbo was brought out of retirement to operate special medical cargo flights (along with PH-BFV and PH-BFW) during the pandemic. All 3 are expected to be re-retired again this year.

Type Retired: March 29, 2020 (flight KL686 MEX-AMS with PH-BFT)

Above Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) (100 Years) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 949485.

Lufthansa – The company was originally planning to retire the 747-400 fleet in 2025. That all changed with the pandemic. All 8 that remain operational are now in storage pending a return of passenger demand. D-ABVX operated the last 747-400 passenger revenue flight (LH637 RUH-FRA) on May 8, 2020.

8 stored. For now last revenue flight: May 8, 2020: LH637 RUH-FRA with D-ABVX.

Above Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 D-ABTK (msn 29871) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 938088.

Rossiya Russian Airlines – The Russian carrier parked all nine of its Boeing 747-400s. EI-XLF operated the last revenue flight (FV5876 HKT-SVO) on March 29, 2020.

Rossiya Airlines Boeing 747-446 EI-XLF (msn 27645) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 943781.

Above Copyright Photo: Rossiya Airlines Boeing 747-446 EI-XLF (msn 27645) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 943781.

Wamos Air – The Spanish carrier has four active Boeing 747-400s. The carrier is planning to operate the type until 2023 but this could change with lower demand.

Wamos Air Boeing 747-412 EC-KSM (msn 27178) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 937680.

Above Copyright Photo: Wamos Air Boeing 747-412 EC-KSM (msn 27178) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 937680.

Boeing 747-400 Photo Gallery.

Recent 747-400 fleet retirements:

Air India – Four 747-400s are parked and not likely to return. VT-ESO operated the last revenue flight (AI966 HYD-BOM) on March 15, 2020.

China Airlines – Four passenger 747-400s are in storage and are not likely to return. B-18215 operated the last revenue flight (CI916 HKG-TPE) on March 15, 2020.

Corsair International – The French carrier parked its three passenger Boeing 747-400s in March and they are not likely to return. F-GTUI operated the last revenue flight (S5 927 PTP-ORY) on March 26, 2020,

El Al Israel Airlines – 4X-ELC operated the last passenger 747-400 revenue flight (LY1747 FCO-TLV) on November 3, 2019.

Iraqi Airways – The last passenger Boeing 747-400 (YI-ASA) operated the last revenue flight (IA3114, MED-BGW) on February 2, 2020.

Korean Air – HL7402 operated the last 747-400 passenger revenue flight (KE630 DPS-ICN) on February 29, 2020. Korean Air continues to operate the newer 747-800.

Mahan Air – The Iranian airline was recently again operating EP-MNB (February 2020) but it appears to be no longer flying, probably due to the embargo.

QANTAS Airways – The flag carrier decided to early retire the type due to a much lower demand. VH-OEE operated the last revenue flight (QF28 SCL-SYD) on March 29, 2020.

Thai Airways International – The flag carrier is in reorganization and is cutting costs and reducing aircraft types. HS-TGA operated the last 747-400 revenue flight (TG476 SYD-BKK) on March 26, 2020.

Virgin Atlantic Airways – G-VROS operated the last revenue flight (VS608 LAX-LHR) on March 31, 2020.

Poll. Who do you think will be the last Boeing 747-400 passenger airline operator?

British Airways plans to cup up to 12,000 jobs due to the drop in air travel

IAG, the parent of British Airways, reported its first quarter results:

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2020 and continues to assess further cost reduction and cash flow initiatives across the entire Group. British Airways is to consult over redundancy and restructuring proposals with its trade unions.

First quarter results

Total revenue declined by 13 percent to €4.6 billion compared to €5.3 billion in the prior year period. Operating result before exceptional items was a loss of €535 million compared to a profit of €135 million last year. In addition, IAG’s pre-tax profit was impacted by an exceptional charge of €1.3 billion resulting from the ineffectiveness of its fuel and foreign currency hedges for the rest of 2020 due to over-hedging. This exceptional charge is measured as at the quarter end date. Detailed results for the first quarter will be released as planned on 7 May, accompanied by a presentation and conference call for analysts and investors.

The operating result in the first two months of 2020 was similar to that of last year, despite the suspension of flights to China due to COVID-19 from the end of January. All of the reduction in the operating result in the quarter compared to last year came in March. The majority of the reduction in IAG’s operating result was incurred by British Airways, followed by Iberia and Aer Lingus, while Vueling experienced a modest increase in operating loss.

Capacity

Passenger capacity, expressed in terms of available seat kilometres, declined by 10.5 percent in the quarter. Passenger traffic in terms of revenue passenger kilometres declined by 15.2 percent in the quarter. Seat load factor for the quarter declined by 4.3 points to 76.4 per cent.

IAG has reduced passenger capacity in April and May by 94 percent compared to last year, only operating flights for essential travel and repatriation. Between March 22 and April 26 IAG Cargo undertook around 350 additional cargo only return flights, primarily on long-haul routes with passenger wide body aircraft. Passenger capacity from June will depend on the timing of the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions by governments around the world.

British Airways redundancy consultation

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on current operations and the expectation that the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years, British Airways is formally notifying its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy program. The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.

As previously announced, British Airways has availed itself of the UK’s COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme and furloughed 22,626 employees in April.

Outlook

As announced on 28 February 2020, given the uncertainty on the impact and duration of COVID-19, IAG is not currently providing profit guidance for 2020. However, the Group expects its operating loss in the second quarter to be significantly worse than in the first quarter, given the substantial decline in passenger capacity and traffic and despite some relief on employee costs from government job retention and wage support schemes.

Total cash and undrawn general and committed aircraft finance facilities amounted to €9.5 billion at the end of March, including €6.95 billion of cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits.

Recovery to the level of passenger demand in 2019 is expected to take several years, necessitating Group-wide restructuring measures.

British Airways also made this announcement:

Letter to colleagues from Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO at British Airways

On April 27, British Airways flew just a handful of aircraft out of Heathrow. On a normal day we would fly more than 300. What we are facing as an airline, like so many other businesses up and down the country, is that there is no ‘normal’ any longer.

The global aviation body, IATA, has said that the industry has never seen a downturn this deep before, and that full year industry passenger revenues could plummet 55% compared to 2019, while traffic falls 48%.  Many airlines have grounded all of their planes. Sadly, we will see some airlines go out of business with the resulting job losses.

Our very limited flying schedule means that revenues are not coming into our business. We are taking every possible action to conserve cash, which will help us to weather the storm in the short-term. We are working closely with partners and suppliers to discuss repayment terms; we are re-negotiating contracts where possible; and we are considering all the options for our current and future aircraft fleet. All of these actions alone are not enough.

In the last few weeks, the outlook for the aviation industry has worsened further and we must take action now. We are a strong, well-managed business that has faced into, and overcome, many crises in our hundred-year history. We must overcome this crisis ourselves, too.

There  is no Government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely. Any money we borrow now will only be short-term and will not address the longer-term challenges we will face.

We do not know when countries will reopen their borders or when the lockdowns will lift, and so we have to reimagine and reshape our airline and create a new future for our people, our customers and the destinations we serve. We have informed the Government and the Trade Unions of our proposals to consult over a number of changes, including possible reductions in headcount. We will begin a period of consultation, during which we will work with the Trade Unions to protect as many jobs as possible. Your views matter and we will listen to all practical proposals.

The scale of this challenge requires substantial change so we are in a competitive and resilient position, not just to address the immediate Covid-19 pandemic, but also to withstand any longer-term reductions in customer demand, economic shocks or other events that could affect us. However challenging this is, the longer we delay difficult decisions, the fewer options will be open to us.

I want to pay tribute to the thousands of British Airways colleagues who are playing a vital role in the global response to the Covid-19 crisis. Whether you are supporting our repatriation flights or the transport of essential cargo; or one of the hundreds of colleagues volunteering with organisations such as the NHS, you have my sincere respect and thanks.

This has been a difficult message to write and one I never thought I would need to send. I know how tight-knit the BA family is, and how concerned you will be, not just for yourself but for your colleagues, too. We must act decisively now to ensure that British Airways has a strong future and continues connecting Britain with the world, and the world with Britain.

Thank you.

Alex

BALPA had this reaction:

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said:

“BA pilots and all staff are devastated by the announcement of up to 12,000 possible job losses in British Airways.

“This has come as a bolt out of the blue from an airline that said it was wealthy enough to weather the COVID storm and declined any Government support.

“BALPA does not accept that a case has been made for these job losses and we will be fighting to save every single one.”
More from the BBC.

British Airways aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

British Airways adds extra PPE flights from China

British Airways has issued this statement:

  • 21 British Airways flights a week from China to London now operating, up from 13 this time last week
  • Flights will be used to carry up to 770 tons of cargo for the NHS including PPE
  • Cargo shipped in joint effort between British Airways, IAG Cargo, the UK Government and the British Embassy in Beijing

British Airways is increasing the number of cargo-only flights from China to the UK to 21 a week, up from 13 last week, as demand continues to rise.

From May, 14 flights each week will depart from Shanghai, and seven from Beijing carrying cargo in the hold and, where possible, in the cabin too.  These flights will be able to carry up to 770 tonnes of cargo for the NHS each week, including PPE and ventilators.

In April, the airline has already operated 13 cargo-only flights from China to the UK carrying NHS supplies. The flights are operated in partnership with the UK Government and IAG Cargo. The British Embassy in China is working with the Department of Health to procure medical equipment from China and deliver it to NHS hospitals all over the UK.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “As an airline we are in a unique position to help in the global response to Covid-19, whether it is through carrying UK residents back home, transporting vital cargo back to the NHS, or through our colleagues who are offering their skills to volunteer. We’re proud to be playing our part, and I’m grateful to everyone who is working to make these flights happen in these difficult times.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “These flights will help us deliver essential equipment to the NHS and for others who are working on the front line.

British Airways works with its sister company, IAG Cargo to fly supplies around the world. Since March, IAG Cargo and airlines within International Airlines Group (IAG) including Aer Lingus and Iberia have been instrumental in bringing medical supplies to Europe to help in the fight against the impact of the Covid-19.

Last week, British Airways began carrying cargo in the cabin of its flights, as well as in the hold – the first time the airline has ever done this.

Photos: British Airways.

British Airways aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

British Airways helps thousands of British travelers return home from India

British Airways is flying thousands of UK nationals who have been stranded in India as a result of the COVID-19 crisis back to the UK this week.

The airline has already flown back thousands of travellers as part of 65 rescue flights which have either operated or are planned to operate in the coming days from destinations across the globe. This is through agreements with travel operators including cruise companies and national authorities, as well as part of a continued effort between British Airways and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to bring people home from cities all over the world. The airline is also carrying hundreds of tonnes of essential supplies including medicines and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the UK through IAG Cargo.

More flights from India to the UK are continuing this week.

In India the airline is serving 11 airports across the country with special flight departures over a period of two weeks. Flights are taking off from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and the airline has also extended its operation to serve additional cities which include Goa, Amritsar, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. The repatriation effort has been a collaboration between the UK and Indian Government authorities, British Airways and the airport teams in both Britain and India

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “It is an honour to support the government’s repatriation efforts and keep a small fleet of aircraft flying to bring stranded Britons back to the UK.  When families step foot on board our aircraft and tell us how emotional it feels to be coming home, it reminds us why the job we are doing is still so important. We are hugely proud of our colleagues who continue to work with such dedication and commitment through this crisis to fly people and essential supplies across the world.”

The Foreign Office’s Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, said:  “We know this is a difficult time for British travellers in India and we are pleased to have partnered with airlines, including British Airways, to get them home.

“This is a huge and logistically-complex operation, and we are working tirelessly with the Indian Government and state authorities to help more British travellers get home.”

British Airways sends another 5 Airbus A380 to France for storage

British Airways is ferrying its remaining five Airbus A380s to storage in Châteauroux, France for a total of 11 A380s in storage in France (G-XLEG remains grounded in Manila since March 8, 2020).

The airport issued this video:

Half of British Airways’s A 380 fleet has invested T2. And it’s not over, they will soon be joined by 5 other aircraft of the same type.

Impressive footage of one of our AFIS agents Jonathan ZANINGER. (Instagram: Jon _ wait09)

Photo: L’Aéroport Marcel Dassault.

Video (click on link):

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F1391062774268726%2Fvideos%2F542457036474489%2F&show_text=0&width=560

British Airways flies vital medical supplies to Britain, including ventilators and PPE

British Airways has made this announcement:

  • British Airways 777 aircraft containing crucial medical supplies for the NHS is on route to the UK, due to land later this afternoon
  • Cargo shipped in joint effort between British Airways, IAG Cargo, the UK Government and the British Embassy in Beijing
  • Separate shipment of hand sanitiser being flown in over the coming days

A British Airways aircraft loaded with vital medical supplies from China is on its way back to London Heathrow.

Captain Robert Kendall is heading a team of flight crew operating the British Airways Boeing 777 which is loaded with ventilators as well as personal protective equipment (PPE) including goggles, face guards and gowns.

The flight was operated in partnership with the UK Government and IAG Cargo. The British Embassy is working with the Department of Health to procure medical equipment from China and deliver it to NHS hospitals all over the UK.

The flight departed from Shanghai at 11am local time on April 9 and is due to touch down at Heathrow later this afternoon.

Today’s flight was the first of several British Airways flights containing medical equipment and supplies coming in to the UK from China. Over the coming days, 55 tonnes of hand sanitiser – equivalent to around 62,000 large bottles – will arrive in the UK on a similar flight from Shanghai.

Minister of State for Asia, Nigel Adams said: “I am delighted that we have been able to reopen the British Airways route from Shanghai to deliver lifesaving equipment that we have bought for the NHS.

“We have been working round the clock to bolster the NHS supplies and save lives and we are seeking further deliveries as a matter of urgency.”

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “We are doing all we can to support the global response to Covid-19, whether it’s flying important medical supplies in to the UK or helping to bring Britons home. We will continue to use all available resources to support the Government, the NHS and communities all over the world who might be in need of our help.”

The flight was made possible after the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) gave permission to reopen British Airways’ regular Shanghai to Heathrow passenger route for cargo use.

British Airways works with its sister company, IAG Cargo to fly supplies around the world. Since March, IAG Cargo and airlines within International Airlines Group (IAG) including Aer Lingus and Iberia have been instrumental in bringing medical supplies to Europe to help in the fight against the impact of the Covid-19.