The countdown to the end of the 747 program is approaching. The last “Jumbo” should be delivered by Boeing in less than a year, if it depends on Atlas Air, the cargo company that has the last order placed for the aircraft.
The company acquired the last four Boeing 747-8F in January and plans to receive them between May and October 2022, according to a statement by Atlas Air CEO John Dietrich.
“These are the last 747s that Boeing will ever produce, and we’re delighted they’ll be coming to Atlas,” Dietrich said on Wednesday during an investor conference.
According to Boeing, there are nine jets pending delivery – four for Atlas Air, four for UPS and one passenger model for an undisclosed customer.
It will be the end of a glorious career for a commercial airline that changed the landscape of air travel, with its enormous capacity. Since January 1970, when it entered service with Pan Am, the 747 has been a common presence at many airports around the world.
Boeing has registered 1,683 orders for the aircraft, from rare models such as the 747SP (Special Performance) to the popular 747-400, which is still used in passenger flights today.
Until recently, no other widebody has been delivered more than the “Queen of Skies”. Only recently has the 777 surpassed the 747 in deliveries and it will soon be the turn of the Airbus A330.
Its biggest competitor, the A380, will also have the last plane delivered soon, but it hasn’t come close to getting as many orders as the Jumbo.
The largest commercial jet in history will close its cycle with only 251 aircraft built, or 15% of the 747 built. Not bad for a project over half a decade old.