United Airlines is accelerating the retirement of its Boeing 747 jumbo jets, saying its last flight on the “Queen of the Skies” will now come this year (2017). Previously, United said its 747s would be phased out by the end of 2018.
“As deeply connected as we all are to this iconic aircraft, the time has come to retire our 747 fleet from scheduled service,” United Airlines president Scott Kirby said in a Wednesday memoto workers. “It’s a bittersweet milestone — this jumbo jet with its unmistakable silhouette once represented the state-of-the-art in air travel.”
“Today, there are more fuel-efficient, cost-effective and reliable widebody aircraft that provide an updated inflight experience for our customers traveling on long-haul flights,” Kirby added. “For these reasons, we’re saying farewell to the Queen of the Skies, which has been part of our fleet since we first flew the aircraft between California and Hawaii in 1970.”