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Sentimentalists across the aviation community are mourning the Boeing 747 — or the Queen of the Skies — this week with news that United is accelerating plans to retire the aircraft.
In truth, the aircraft has long been outperformed by more fuel efficient and modern models such as the 787 and the A350, but the 747 had a special place in the hearts of many frequent travelers. It was the first aircraft to really highlight the jumbo jet era and for many, it still is a sign of prestige.
United plans to have all of its 747s out of circulation by the end of the year. And with similar retirement plans in motion at Delta, the 747 will soon be out of the American skies on domestic carriers — for passengers at least — entirely.
Social Quote of the Day
Great #AvGeek photos filling Twitter as @United announces the draw down of the @Boeing 747 fleet. Here is both my fav paint job & airport
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Air France-KLM Faces Up to Bleak Future: Air France-KLM Group Chief Executive Officer Jean-Marc Janaillac delivered a downbeat assessment of the carrier’s prospects for 2017, saying it faces “difficult” times in the year ahead amid rising oil prices and an ongoing struggle to rein in expenses. Read more at Skift
British Airways CEO Interview: How to Bring a Low-Cost Mindset to a Legacy Airline: At first glance, Alex Cruz may seem like an unusual choice to lead British Airways, an iconic flag carrier with a lineage dating to the 1930s. Read more at Skift
The TSA Found the Most Guns at These U.S. Airports in 2016: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered nearly 3,400 firearms in carry-on bags last year at U.S. airports, an average of nine per day across 238 airports. Read more at Skift
Heathrow Still European Number One Despite Capacity Constraints: London’s Heathrow airport, which has operated close to the capacity of its two runways since the start of the decade, eked out a further 700,000 passengers to extend its lead as Europe’s top travel hub in 2016 as growth in Paris stuttered and Istanbul and Frankfurt fell back. Read more at Skift
Are Plans to Rebuild JFK Airport Real or a Publicity Stunt? JFK’s current mishmash of roadways would be streamlined into a ring spanning the six terminals, with parking centralized at the interior. Read more at Skift
Better Relations With U.S. Means Much Better Wi-Fi Across Cuba: Home internet came to Cuba last month in a limited pilot program that’s part of the most dramatic change in daily life here since the declaration of detente with the United States on Dec. 17, 2014. Read more at Skift
Congress Is Close to Letting Government Biz Travelers Expense Uber and Lyft: The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a law this week that could potentially allow government workers to get reimbursed for using ridesharing services when traveling on government business. Read more at Skift
Alaska Airlines Offers Free In-Flight Mobile Messaging: Alaska Airlines is adding mobile messaging to its spectrum of in-flight amenities and is dishing it out free of charge. Read more at Skift
AccorHotels Has a New Division for Its Millennial-Focused Lifestyle Brands: AccorHotels, Europe’s largest hotel group, is creating a new lifestyle division to pool its fast-growing “boutique” hotel brands, the company said on Monday. Read more at Skift
Airbnb’s Chip Conley to Leave Global Head of Hospitality and Strategy Role: Chip Conley, who has held the role of Global Head of Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb since April 2013, is cutting back his involvement with the short-term rental giant, Skift has learned. Read more at Skift
Skift has a new Tech Editor and it’s none other than the imitable Sean O’Neill. Please welcome him to the team here.
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