New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The world’s largest operator of Boeing 747, the British Airways on late Thursday announced that the air carrier will be retiring its entire fleet of jumbo jets with immediate effect due to the slowdown in the travel industry caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said that the global curbs imposed to contain the spread of the deadly pathogen led to a disruption in the travel industry affecting the air travel the most and placing the future of many airline companies in doubt.

“It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies’ will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again,” the company said in a statement.

British Airways, which is owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group, however, said that the company will look forward to operating more flights on fuel-efficient and modern aircraft including its new A350s and 787s. The air carrier company also said that it expects aircraft like A350s and 787s will help in achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

A wave of restructuring triggered by the virus outbreak is hitting airlines and industrial firms across the world. The Sun reported last month that British Airways had reached an agreement with its pilots to sack 350 and another 300 in ‘pool’ for rehiring when needed. The majority of pilots being ‘pooled’ were expected to be the jumbo jet first officers, according to the report.

Boeing’s 747 jumbo jets were once considered to be the queen of skies and democratised global air travel in the 1970s. However, the jets fall behind modern twin-engine aircraft and were reduced in numbers. The Boeing 747 also marked its 50th flying anniversary in February 2019.

The US-based aerospace company and its suppliers signalled the end of the plane when they set the final number of parts it would need for the 747 jumbo jet program at least a year ago. However, the decision was left in limbo for years amid falling orders and pricing pressure.


(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan