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SIA to retire 747's

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posted on May, 16 2008 @ 08:14 AM
In an move which must be the first of its kind, Singapore Airlines has announced that it will remove ALL its passenger 747's from service by 2011. SIA has already been retiring its 747 fleet gradually but I think they are the first major carrier to decide to remove it from service entirely. Their place in the fleet will be taken, as now, by A380's and 777-300ER's.

In another blow to the type SIA has also rejected the 747-8F to replace its existing-400F's. The type is said to be 'of no interest' as the gains it offers are felt to be too marginal by comparison with continuing with the -400F and so the expense of buying cannot be justified.

Goodbye 747

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 10:30 PM
I may have misinterpreted your position here, but you seem to be surprised at SIA's decision.

Nothing lasts at the forefront of technology forever, and 'hopefully' humans will continue to make 'better' products rather than 'worse' (or indeed more of 'same'). No doubt in 100 years the B747 will look as dated and limited as the Fokker Universal does today.

One thing this does highlight, however, is how far out of touch Boeing is with its prospective customers (if the KC-45 fiasco wasn't enough to demonstrate that already). It's beginning to look like Boeing just isn't prepared to spend the R&D money to really come up with a better mousetrap. This does not inspire confidence in the future of Boeing.

To me it is beginning to look like that period of automotive design history when the motivation for replacing your existing car was that the new model merely had a different (and obviously more exciting) colour range.

The Winged Wombat

posted on May, 16 2008 @ 10:56 PM
Dont you think someone should be contacting john travolta?

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 08:58 AM
Airbus are allready testing ultra high bypass geared turbo fans - which are looking more and more like giant enclossed turbo-props for fuel effeciency - boeing haven`t even begun to look at this field yet , then theres the upgrades for `older` aircraft - in this cae they have set `oldest` as being the 777! so sadly i seem to concur with waynos that they`re not really with it

posted on May, 17 2008 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by The Winged Wombat

Not surprised so much, more noteworthy that they are the first to come out and announce it.

Boeing always intended the 777 as a replacement for older 747's (-100 &-200), but they were dismissive of Airbus claim that the A380 could replace the newer, higher capacity models, believing that there was no need of a new Jumbo. At least until they decided to launch the apparently unwanted 747-8I.

With SIA revealing their plans to withdraw all 747's from passenger services other airlines will inevitably follow and it gives the lie to the claim that the A380 was only a 'Euro-prestige' programme with no commercial foundation.

What with this, KC-X, and the 787 sliding ever closer to the A350 timescale, there must be some serious head scratching going on at Boeing.

posted on May, 18 2008 @ 08:05 AM
On the contrary waynos, I observe a lack of head-scratching when there should have been plenty of it.

I recall the old story of Boeing betting the farm on the 747, and just what would have happened had it not been a success.

By comparison, one has to ask what Boeing has been investing its money in over the past few years, and the answer would have to be taking over and 'merging' with other US Aerospace companies (where 'merging' in this case has meant buy-out).

The contracts they have obtained have really been on the back of R&D done by the companies they have absorbed (perhaps the cost of that R&D is why those companies have become vulnerable to take-over - er I mean 'merger').

Unfortunately, Boeing seems to have neglected their core business while buying developed projects, and I would observe, not marketing those purchased projects (such as Super Hornet) particularly well.

With the problems that Boeing has been experiencing with the projects and products that came in-house with their corporate acquisitions (like the F-15 structural problems must have come as a big surprise, and the SH seems harder to sell than sand in Iran) one has to wonder just what benefit those acquisitions have been to Boeing, while reducing the amount of funding they have available for developing core products.

So it occurs to me that Boeing may not actually have been in any position financially to develop something competitive with regard to KC-X or as a competitor to A380.

A case of putting the money in the wrong place destroying a successful core business?

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 18/5/08 by The Winged Wombat]

posted on May, 22 2008 @ 09:00 PM
Its very late and im very tired.

But didnt continental remove all their 747s from their fleet when they decided to buy tri-jets (tristar or MD-11s) cant remembet exactly what or when.


posted on May, 23 2008 @ 08:08 AM
reply to post by jensy

Yes, but that is a different issue. Continental did that because of their own capacity requirements, while the 747 was still very much flavour of the month globally. Not because the 747 was getting 'past it'. It related to their own position in the airline market. This story however relates to the 747's position and the fact that it could be the beginning of the end for one of the worlds greatest aircraft. Same result, different perspective.

[edit on 23-5-2008 by waynos]

posted on May, 23 2008 @ 12:16 PM
reply to post by waynos

Im not sure its "the end" but it is close. I maintained when Boeing announced the 747-8 that they would be more than happy to capture the freighter market and any PAX models would be gravy. The fact is that the 747 because of configuration is preferable to may cargo carriers at this time to any notational A380F because of the alreayd built in structures to handle the aircraft and the hinged nose etc. Also depending on source the cost per tom / mile is really close.

The PAX version is much more problematic. The nitch between the A380 and the 777/A340 is really small. Its hard to justify the purchase for many airlines.

Also factor in that SIA's 747's are getting old and its an airline that always has a young fleet. Also the A380 is tailor made for long hual carriers like SIA or Emirates that fly ultra long range route to slot limited hubs

posted on May, 24 2008 @ 04:02 AM
Thats what I meant by 'the beginning of the end' Fred, SIA are the first carrier to dump the 747 *for this reason*. We will obviously see the 747 on the worlds skyways for decades to come, look how long 707's and DC-8's have lingered. The last Viscount only disappeared fairly recently, there will always be somebody who keeps flying them, but its commercial life as a new build passenger airliner will soon be ending.

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 01:08 PM
Actually in this weeks AWST the order book for the -8 stands at 105 which is not really all that bad. Of those only 20 are the PAX model however.

posted on May, 29 2008 @ 02:23 PM
reply to post by FredT

thats 2 or 3 years of work

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