Thai Airways latest to retire its Boeing 747s, seeks to sell fleet plus 24 other jets

Nov 5, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Thai Airways wants to sell all of its Boeing 747s and many of its 777s as it moves forward with a court-approved restructuring plan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bangkok-based carrier is selling all 10 of its 747-400s, with statements of interest due by Nov. 13. Thai Airways also plans to sell 12 of its 32 777s plus one Airbus A300, nine Airbus A340s and two Boeing 737-400s. The A300, A340s and 737s were already parked prior to the pandemic.

With the sale of its 747s — known by AvGeeks as the “Queen of the Sky” — Thai Airways will join the likes of British Airways and Qantas Airways in retiring the venerable Boeing wide-body because of COVID. British Airways flew its final 747 off to retirement in Wales in October while Qantas sent its 747s off with a literal flying kangaroo in July.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The 747 disappeared from U.S. passenger fleets in 2017. Its final two operators, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, both sent off the jets with their own flair — the former doing an employee tour and the latter a final flight reenacting its inaugural 747 flight to Hawaii.

Few airlines are likely to fly the 747 on passenger flights after the crisis. Air China, Korean Air and Lufthansa are among the handful of remaining operators. The airlines are also the only passenger carriers with the newest variant, the 747-8i.

Thai Airways has not flown a 747 on a scheduled passenger flight since March, according to Cirium schedules. Even then, the airline was primarily flying the jet on turns between its Bangkok (BKK) base and the holiday island of Phuket (HKT).

A Thai court approved a restructuring plan for the airline in September. The airline plans to shrink its operations and workforce, and streamline its fleet that included everything from Airbus A380s to 747s and Boeing 787s at the end of 2019.

Related: Boeing is ending production of the 747

Featured image by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.