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Qantas and the 747

With the Covid-19 pandemic hitting airlines worldwide, most carriers are grounding aircraft with services either drastically reduced or, in some cases, curtailed completely.

Speculation is rife regarding the future of some long-established aircraft types, including the Boeing 747.

The iconic aircraft has already been retired by many airlines, although it is expected to remain in service with all-cargo airlines but there are still some in service including five with Australia's Qantas. Some news reports suggested that the airline had also now retired the type so I asked the airline to confirm the status of these five aircraft and received the following reply:

'Thanks for checking, there seems to be some confusion around this. On Sunday we had the last regular scheduled international flight arriving into Sydney before we suspend our international schedule until the end of May in light of COVID-19 – that flight happened to be operated by a 747.

There is still potential for the 747’s to be used for chartered flights and there’s been no confirmation we will not put them back into service once we get through this period of downturn. We’ve suspended our international schedule until the end of May so the 747s will be parked over the next two months, as will our entire international fleet. We have five remaining 747s.'

Here's a look at Qantas 747s over the years, with all images courtesy of Qantas

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