The following statement has been released by United Airlines
There’s something very special about a Boeing 747. It’s the one aircraft that even casual travelers can easily identify. And we know that the experience of traveling on one, or flying one, is unforgettable.
As deeply connected as United Airlines is to this iconic aircraft, the time has come to retire our 747 fleet from scheduled service. Last March, we announced that this would occur by the end of 2018; now we plan to operate our last 747 flight in the fourth quarter of this year.
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.
We’ll be working with all of you who fly or work on the 747s to ensure a smooth transition to other fleets. Our forward-looking fleet plan will cover 747 replacements and anticipated growth opportunities. And of course, we’ll honor the 747 with an unforgettable retirement celebration — we’ll keep you posted with more details on her final flight in the months ahead.
Thank you for all that you are doing. I am so proud and excited about the great future we’re building together as we create the best airline in the world.