The Chart:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Last BBJ Rolls Out, Atlas Woes (Damn You Akbar!)

Line 1495 (RC009) for Abu Dhabi Presidential Flight, the last scheduled BBJ, rolled out yesterday. I don't really like BBJs. I mean, I like the occasionally interesting liveries, and really there isn't a 747 I don't love deeply, but what really bugs me about BBJs is that they're just kind of a waste of a perfectly good frame. Especially for a jumbo jet. A jumbo jet should be carrying large quantities of stuff to far away places day after day. A BBJ carries a couple people maybe once in a while. I doubt these BBJ's will ever even log 5,000 hours. For an example, lets look in on Lufthansa 747-8I line 1443 (RC022) D-ABYA. After about two years in service she has almost 10,000 hours in the air, and has carried over 400,000 people, not to mention tens of thousands of tons of cargo (roughly calculating) to destinations all over the world.

Now take line 1446 (RC004) HZ-HMS1. Cue trombone: wah wah wah wahhhhhhhhh...

Sitting around for over a year in Basel Switzerland with about 20 hours on the clock, waiting to eventually get some ostentatious interior, so that one day she may fly ten or less people to a ski vacation in the Alps two or three times a year. Or whatever. Anyways, I know it's good business for Boeing, but as 747 enthusiasts I'm sure you get my point.

In case you haven't heard, Atlas got dumped by British Airways. Specifically, Atlas subsidiary Global Supply Systems' contract with British Airways parent International Airlines Group will lapse in April of this year, and the three 747-8Fs that flew with the British Airways livery will be returned. IAG stated that they don't need the capacity anymore, what with all the belly space they have in their passenger airliners. However, they'll be leasing capacity to Hong Kong on Qatar 777Fs. Something about that sound familiar? Well yes, you're not mistaken; our wonderful friend Akbar Al Baker is at it again, insidiously undermining the 747-8F with every opportunity he can get. You might remember him from late 2012 when he tried to get Cargolux to dump their remaining 747-8F orders and use his Qatar 777Fs instead, before getting rejected and running home in tears. This time he seems to have landed a successful blow. Hope you're unhappy Akbar!

It's unclear whether Atlas has work lined up for these soon to be unemployed 747-8Fs, but they'll need to be repainted rather soon one way or the other. Atlas did recently land a new Hong Kong based contract, so perhaps these frames will help out there, although I was hoping Atlas was going to take up formerly rejected line 1437 (RC573) again instead. Doesn't look good for that to happen now.


  1. Of course he is happy, especially over all the money he is supposed to be making with his New contract with BA. I mean can you imagine his glorified elation:D

    Also I'm adding Qatar and BA to my no fly list, right under CX.

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  4. All Nippon Announces its Last 747 service in March.

    NH243 HND0830 – 1020FUK 744
    NH250 FUK1110 – 1250HND 744

    NH069 HND1500 – 1630CTS 744
    NH074 CTS1730 – 1905HND 744