British Airways are currently the largest operator of the Boeing 747 in the world. The airline has plans to retire all of them by 2024, so what will replace them has been a hot topic.
Flight Global are reporting that British Airways has ordered the Boeing 777-9X, placing 18 firm orders and 24 options. They will seat 325 in a four class configuration and replace 14 Boeing 747-400s and four older Boeing 777-200s.
Should You Replace A 747 With A 777?
Apart from two relatively minor points, the passenger experience on the new Boeing 777X promises to be better. Besides a lower cabin altitude similar to the Boeing 787, it will feature large windows for panoramic viewing opportunities.
Those worried about the perceived tightness in ten-abreast economy class on the 777s today need not be concerned. Two inches have been gained either side by decreasing the thickness of the cabin wall. This means seats will be 18 inches wide, rather than today’s 17.2.
All of that sounds great, but what will the 777X lack? Two of the most private areas in the sky. First, unique to the Boeing 747 is seating in the nose, where some people sit ahead of the pilots. Also the upper deck, which provides a private jet like experience to those seated there.
Why Are The Boeing 747s Going?
Technology has marched on and two engines are more efficient than four. The Boeing 747-400 originally entered service with Northwest Airlines in 1989, so it’s essentially a 1980s design based on a 1960s design.
While the aircraft will be missed, the new Boeing 777X promises a whole lot more comfort. That’s really what is most important when flying on very long flights.
Since British Airways already operate the Boeing 777 in numbers, it would make sense for them to replace the Boeing 747 with more of them. From a size perspective, they should match well.
Are you looking forward to flying on the new Boeing 777X? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
All images via Boeing.