Rare Jumbos: What Airlines Still Fly Passenger 747s?

With the full-fleet 747 retirements of Qantas, KLM, and British Airways in 2020, the Boeing 747 is becoming an increasingly rare bird when it comes to passenger operations. While the jet is still quite popular with cargo operators, what airlines can passengers look to if they want to continue experiencing flight with the Queen of the Skies? Let’s take a look at the carriers still operating Boeing 747s in a passenger role.

Rare Jumbos: What Airlines Still Fly Passenger 747s?
Airlines using the newer 747-8 are likely to be the last passenger operators of the type. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Active passenger 747 operators

With the list (sadly) somewhat short, let’s take a look at each airline still operating the Boeing 747 across all variants.

Air China: The airline is listed as having 10 747s in its fleet. However, one of these, a 747-8, is a VIP configuration and thus not used in regular passenger service. The other nine break down to three 747-400s and six 747-8s. The aircraft configurations are as follows:

747-8:

  • First: 12
  • Business: 54
  • Premium economy: 66
  • Economy: 233

747-400:

  • First: 10
  • Business: 42
  • Economy: 292

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Rare Jumbos: What Airlines Still Fly Passenger 747s?
Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Air India has four Boeing 747-400s between the ages of 24 and 28 years old. These are currently listed as parked but offer the following configuration:

  • First: 12
  • Business: 26
  • Economy: 385

Asiana Airlines has one passenger Boeing 747-400 in its fleet. Registered as HL7428, the aircraft is configured with 10 first class seats, 24 in business, and 364 in economy. In May and June of 2021, the aircraft has been operating a 90-minute service between Seoul and Changchun.

Korean Air has nine 747-8s. These are configured with six seats in first, 48 in business, and 314 in economy. Most of these are currently parked but will hopefully return when the travel situation improves.

Lufthansa is the largest 747 operator at the moment, with 27 Queens. 19 of these are the -8, while the remaining eight are -400s. All of the -400s are currently parked, as is nearly half of the -8 fleet. Their configurations are as follows:

747-8:

  • First: Eight
  • Business: 80
  • Premium economy: 32
  • Economy: 244

747-400:

  • Business: 67
  • Premium economy: 32
  • Economy: 272
Rare Jumbos: What Airlines Still Fly Passenger 747s?
Korean Air is still holding on to its 747-8i passenger jets. Photo: Vincenzo Pace – Simple Flying

Iranian carrier Mahan Air stands out in being the only 747-300M operator. The airline’s two combi -300Ms are 35 years old now, configured with 26 business class seats and 434 in economy. The airline has a single 747-400 configured as follows:

  • First: 14
  • Business: 73
  • Economy: 260

Rossiya has nine 747-400s. Eight of these are configured with 12 business class seats and 510 in economy. Just one aircraft has the following three-class configuration:

  • First: 12
  • Business: 26
  • Economy: 409

The one odd airline out

There’s one airline that is operating the 747 for passengers but isn’t a regular scheduled commercial carrier. That airline is Atlas Air, which offers the 747 for charter services. The carrier has two configurations for its five 747-400s and are as follows:

“VIP Service”:

  • First: 10
  • Business: 52
  • Economy: 310

“Comfort Service”:

  • Business: 23
  • Economy: 451

While we’ve lost dozens of 747s to retirement in the last few years, the continued service of the 747-8 will hopefully mean that we will see the Queen of the Skies serving travelers for at least a few more years into the future.

As 747s become more rare as passenger aircraft, will you be going out of your way to fly these jumbo jets? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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