The Triple Seven has been the leader in long-haul, twin-engine flying for more than a quarter of a century. With several variants introduced over the years, more than 1,600 of these aircraft have been built by Boeing, with most still in service today.
However, some of these aircraft are getting rather elderly, with many parked up and unlikely to fly again. To date, 22 individual airframes have been scrapped, according to data from ATDB.aero – we take a look at which 777s have met their end so far.
The first to go
The first 777 to retire from service was originally delivered as G-ZZZE to British Airways in January 1996. It had perhaps the shortest initial in-service lifespan, being removed from the fleet in June 2002 and returned to Boeing just seven years after it was delivered.
It was repainted in the livery of Brazilian airline Varig and registered as PP-VRD but was only flown for a couple of years between 2004 and 2006 before being returned to Boeing’s leasing arm. Stored at Walnut Ridge Airport (ARG) in Arkansas, it was broken up in 2006 – just 10 years after it was built.
What was left of G-ZZZE was dumped randomly in the middle of Arkansas until fairly recently.
The latest Google maps update shows that it has now gone. pic.twitter.com/dozSqqT1k6
— James (@InflightJames) May 3, 2021
Weirdly, the wings and other parts were removed, but the fuselage remained intact. Until very recently, the aircraft could be seen just off the western end of the runway. However, recent satellite pictures show it is no longer there.
Next one follows
The next 777 to leave active service was a 777-200, originally delivered to United Airlines as N766UA. Added to the fleet in May 1995, it flew for 10 solid years before moving to India as VT-AIR for Air India. It stayed with the Indian flag carrier for four years before leaving the fleet in 2009 to be sold to GA Telesis Turbine Technologies.
The aircraft was stripped of its useful parts and scrapped completely in April 2011 at Tarbes-Lourdes Airport. The center fuselage still remains at the airport.
Here comes the third
The third 777 removed from service and never to fly again was a 12 year young 777-200ER flown by Singapore Airlines as 9V-SQG. SIA is well known for operating a young fleet, and had used SQG for its full 12-year lease from June 1996. It returned to ILFC, the leasing firm, as N321LF in early 2012.
While many of SIA’s young retirees find new lives with other airlines, it was not to be so for this 777. Worth more as parts than as a complete airframe, the 777 was taken to pieces in Goodyear, Arizona, stripped of all its assets just 14 years after it was built. Shortly after this photo was taken, the bulldozer arrived to finish the job.
19 more follow
Since 2013, there has been a flurry of scrappings of 777s. 2013 saw two aircraft broken up. The first was 9M-MRK, built for Malaysia Airlines and delivered in July 1999. Less than 13 years after it rolled off the production line, it was scrapped at Sandford Regional Airport in Florida.
Next to go was 9V-SQE, another Singapore Airlines 777 that had come to the end of its useful life. It was scrapped at Greenwood-Leflore in May 2013.
As leases began to expire, more 777s joined the scrapped fleet. 2014 saw three more added to the pile – A6-EMD and A6-EME from Emirates, as well as B-2056 from China Southern. In 2015, four more were broken up, including Singapore/Scoot’s 9V-OTA, Air China’s B-2064, and a 777-200ER originally registered as N793ST for United Airlines, which had also flown for Transaero. 2015 also saw the first 777-300 scrapped – JA8942 from Japan Airlines.
By the late 2010s, scrappages were ticking up. Between 2016 and 2020, 10 more 777s were broken up around the world. This included G-ZZZC, a former British Airways 777-200 scrapped at St Athan in Wales in January 2020. It also included the first 777-300ER to be scrapped – VT-JEG, which was built for Jet Airways in 2007 but scrapped at Chennai in 2018.
[THREAD]:A little-known Chennai-based MRO, Nano Aviation has completed a herculean feat for Indian #aviation
A team of 30 scrapped a Jet Airways Boeing-777 at Chennai Airport. They salvaged 4,500 parts
This was the 1st case of a leased aircraft being scrapped in India. pic.twitter.com/YadjUkhMkq
— Arindam Majumder (@ari_maj) January 17, 2021
The most recent scrapping was performed in March this year. F-GSPS was withdrawn from the Air France fleet in February and flown to Tarbes-Lourdes to be broken up by Tarmac Aerosave. This was one of four 777-200ERs to be withdrawn from the Air France fleet this year.