Skift Take

United plans to retire its aging 747 fleet by the end of the year -- well ahead of schedule. While that's good news for passengers keen on new aircraft and fancy in-flight entertainment, some are mourning the loss.

What to Know Now

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

– @theAviationGeek | Ryan, the AvGeek


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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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Photo credit: A United Airlines 747. The airline announced plans to retire its fleet of these planes by the end of 2017. United Airlines

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