While the Boeing 747-8 never really took off as far as passenger operators are concerned, the same cannot be said about the -400. While it has slowly been phased out of most passenger operations, over 400 -400s were built with passengers in mind. But with the youngest passenger -400s now over 16 years old, how much is the jumbo jet worth in 2021?
A couple of weeks ago, Simple Flying delved into the worth of the Airbus A380 in 2021, with help from data provided by ch-aviation.com and generated by Collateral Verifications LLC. But we didn’t want to stop with the A380, so we decided to look into the value of the passenger Boeing 747-400 in 2021.
According to data from ch-aviation.com, 435 Boeing 747-400 aircraft have been operated with passengers in mind or as combi jets also carrying cargo on the main deck. Of these, just 11 are currently active with passenger-carrying airlines. Another ten are in use with air forces or as VIP transport aircraft.
We’ll start by looking at the worth of active Boeing 747s. According to the data from ch-aviation, the two active 747-400 aircraft worth the most are currently valued at $5.6 million. The first is B-2472, a 21.15-year-old jet with 27,716 flight hours across 5,279 cycles operated for the Government of China.
The second 747-400 worth $5.6 million is a 20.48-year-old passenger jet registered as EI-XLF. This jet, operated by Rossiya, had completed 54,572 flight hours across 9,303 cycles as of September 30th, 2015.
20 747-400s worth more
There are 20 Boeing 747-400s worth more than $5.6 million, according to ch-aviation.com. These include jets from Thai Airways and Lufthansa, with each aircraft being listed as stored or in maintenance. Of these 20, two are listed with a current market value of $6.77 million. This is the highest value of any passenger or combi -400, according to the website.
These two aircraft are both listed as being operated by China Airlines. Earlier this year, the Taiwan-based carrier retired the Boeing 747-400 with a special flight to nowhere. One of these is B-18215, the last passenger 747-400 to be built by Boeing. The jet has an age of 16.16 years and has racked up 61,605 flight hours over 12,853 flight cycles. The slightly older B-18212 is listed with the same value, having completed 62,008 hours.
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Falling out of favor
While the Boeing 747-400 remains a popular aircraft with aviation enthusiasts, its time on this planet as a passenger jet is sadly coming to an end. As mentioned earlier, the youngest passenger -400 is over 16 years old. Most airlines with significant 747-400 fleets had an average age higher than this.
This meant that many carriers, such as British Airways, had already earmarked the type’s retirement. The current global aviation situation meant that it wasn’t worth airlines keeping the type around on the ground. As a result, many brought forward the 747’s retirement, including Qantas and KLM. British Airways also retired its entire fleet several years early, something the airline’s new CEO defended as the right thing to do.
How much is a Boeing 747-400 worth to you? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!