The first Boeing 747 is rolled out of the Boeing company's plant in the State of Washington in September 1968. On September 30, 1968, the first 747 was rolled out of the Everett assembly building before the world's press and representatives of the 26 airlines that had ordered the plane, and first flight took place on February 09, 1969. The Boeing 747, called also "Jumbo Jet", entered service on January 21, 1970, on Pan Am's New YorkLondon route. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

What caused the disappearance of the Boeing 747 airliner?

Jhe died of a queen is a time for reflection. So it was when the last 747 jumbo jet, the “queen of the skies” to legions of fans, rolled off Boeing’s production line in Washington state on Dec. 6. His demise has been slow and a bit undignified. The last plane to be sold as a passenger transport dates back to 2017, to Korean Air Lines. After that, she was only used for freight, and few operators wanted her for that. Only 30,747 have been ordered in the past five years. Even so, to those who associate the hump-headed bird with the heyday of aviation, it feels like the end of an era.

PanAm flew the first commercial 747 route in 1970, between New York’s JFK Airport and London Heathrow. Strict industry regulations at the time limited the routes airlines could take. Ticket prices were also checked. These early jumbo jets typically carried 366 passengers, compared to around 200 on the Boeing 707s that operated the transatlantic route in the 1960s. This gave carriers a better chance of making a profit in the face of these constraints. But their size would also prove a burden. When the oil shock hit in the mid-1970s, gas-guzzling four-engine beasts were a factor in crippling airline losses, not least because the recession meant it was harder to fill seats.

In 1978, America deregulated its aviation market, the largest in the world. This prompted airlines to develop the “hub and spoke” business model. With fewer limitations on the routes they could operate, carriers could fly huge planes to their home airports, before transferring passengers to smaller planes that took them to their final destination; it changed domestic and international air travel. This allowed operators to serve more airports with fewer aircraft. The more customers who could be squeezed into flights to the hub, the better. It was a boon for what was then the largest airliner in the world. To secure its place in this system, Boeing launched the 747-400 in 1988, which could fly up to 8,354 miles (13,450 km) nonstop, about 650 miles longer than its predecessor, the 747-300. It usually carried 416 passengers.

During the 2000s, competition squeezed Boeing’s jumbo. In 2007, Airbus, the American firm’s great European rival, launched the A380. This two-story giant remains the largest passenger aircraft ever built, with up to 615 seats. For carriers whose primary interest was to move large numbers of people through their hubs, it became the aircraft of choice. A new generation of “super-connector” airlines, such as Emirates and Qatar, have built their business models around them. Emirates operates 118 A380s and no 747s. More recently, carriers have been attracted to new ultra-long, super-efficient aircraft such as Airbus’ A350 and Boeing’s 777. These carry almost as many passengers, but only have two engines, making it economically viable to fly more points. point-to-point long-distance routes. The jumbo could not survive this competitive clamp. A sick Queen of Heaven was already on her deathbed when the pandemic killed her.

Still, the future of big jetliners is starting to look a little brighter than it did before covid-19 hit, even if the 747 won’t be among them anymore. (The A380 couldn’t last long either, because of these new long-range planes.) Air traffic has rebounded from the effects of the pandemic. But analysts believe that in the age of Zoom, leisure passengers will return to the skies more easily than business people. Those who benefit from the company’s money are more likely to pay a premium to board a flight at a time that suits them, which means carriers have to offer them more frequent flights on smaller planes. But vacationers are more concerned with price than with a civilized departure time. They are also more likely to book well in advance. This makes their custom less lucrative, but means they can get stuffed on bigger jets. The queen may be dead, but the monarchy is alive and well.

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