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British Airways Will Completely Abandon The Boeing 747 4 Years Ahead Of Schedule Due To COVID-19

British Airways Will Completely Abandon The Boeing 747 4 Years Ahead Of Schedule Due To COVID-19

British Airways, part of the International Consolidated Airlines Group S. A. (IAG), will abandon all wide-body Boeing 747-400 aircraft four years earlier than planned, due to falling demand for air travel in the face of a pandemic.

"It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect," MarketWatch quoted A company representative as saying.

The airline also noted that the aircraft of this model is unlikely "ever again to carry out commercial flights for British Airways due to the decline in traffic."

The carrier received the first Boeing 747-400 in July 1989, it is the largest operator of these aircraft. There are 31 aircraft of this model in the British Airways fleet.

Previously, the airline planned to retire the Boeing 747-400 from service by 2024 and replace them with 787 Dreamliners made by Boeing Co. or Airbus A350.

IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said British Airways was "fighting for survival." In may, IAG said it did not expect passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels before 2023.

IAG shares are down 1.8% on Friday.