Au revoir 747-200 Freighters...


Apparently a "terse" writer
Staff member
I hope no one's really surprised by this:

Tomorrow Delta will announce in our first quarter earnings call that the B747-200 fleet, which includes seven freighter and two passenger aircraft, will be retired from service by the end of 2009. As a
result, Delta Cargo will adjust freighter schedules beginning this spring and Delta will discontinue B-
747-200 operations by the end of 2009.

Prior to the merger, Northwest began a review to consider the retirement of the 747-200 aircraft, as
this fleet was reaching the end of its economic lifespan. This is not unique in our industry. Due to the
economic environment, Air France, KLM, FedEx, Polar, and DHL have all grounded freighters and/or
taken other actions to reduce capacity. Also, the current cargo environment does not justify continued
operation of the 747-200 freighter aircraft, nor investment in new freighter aircraft.

As a result of this process, which commenced more than a year ago, we will close the ANC pilot
domicile and remaining 747-200 categories. Pilots who are impacted will be able to exercise the
options available under the Pilot Working Agreement (PWA). We also are working closely with ALPA on
this matter.

While these plans will be announced soon for the benefit of our customers, we believe in keeping you
informed by communicating all changes which may have employee impact. The process for
accommodating displaced pilots is well defined and a review of the Transition Working Group Notepad
#09-04 will provide additional information.

While decisions like this are never easy, this move will help us keep pace in our industry’s dynamic
environment, address cost pressures, increase shareowner value and further improve our competitive

From our customers’ perspective, it will remain business as usual during the transition period. We will
honor our commitments to customers, and we plan to continue to serve all their main deck cargo
needs. For Flight Operations, we will continue to provide you with more detailed information as it
becomes available. Feel free to contact your Chief Pilot or myself if you have any questions.
Well, maybe we can get some more work with that. We are usually waiting on one or 2 to get in to transload freight to ILN.

As it stands now, we're leaving freight on the ramp (according to ops agents)
They going to come here where I am? The majority of the stored planes here are 747-100/200s, but there's also SPs, and 300s (haven't noticed a 400 yet, except for maintenance). That said, the majority of the planes on the north ramp scrapping area are also 747s, right now the majority being NWA -200s, but a -300 and a couple of others, including an SP, are being scrapped now here.
Alot of the mother company's birds go to ROW

Besides Mojave and here at Pinal airpark......Roswell, Southern Cal (George AFB), PHX-Goodyear, and Kingman are some of the other big ones. Tucson Intl, ABQ, ELP are some of the smaller ones for civil planes.

Here at Pinal it can get creepy at night........especially with the wind blowing, as rudders bang back and forth on the planes parked in the back forty, as well as doors slamming and creaking noises emanating from that part of the ramp, as well as the scrap area. :eek:
YOU get creeped out? Yeah, right!

lol! Just knowing the history of Pinal.....there's the feeling when you're here that things are going on behind the scenes......not too obvious, but not to secret neither. Just a slight....disconcerting..... feeling at times that this place puts out. :)
lol! Just knowing the history of Pinal.....there's the feeling when you're here that things are going on behind the scenes......not too obvious, but not to secret neither. Just a slight....disconcerting..... feeling at times that this place puts out. :)

I see!

Kind of light Wright Patt, but not really... :)
I don't see the problem.

It's not a's just a different vibe.

The only problem is watching the planes being towed to the scrap area. One 747 has two towbars break on the tugs towing it there from the back 40 :eek:
. . .so, why is the "new Delta" keeping the DC-9's, which are probably older (or just as old) as those 747-200's.

Not to mention as everyone like to throw out...paid for!
Probably has something to do about not having a big cargo network, the "Ted Stevens Cabotage" gank-job and that there are a lot of 'butts in seats' in our network domestically.
We are all about "below the wing" cargo now. I am guessing it is a bigger bang for the buck. Need to fill up those shiny new 777LRs.
I remember doing a touch and go at Pinal. That place is pretty amazing if you're into odd tails and old airplanes.
I remember doing a touch and go at Pinal. That place is pretty amazing if you're into odd tails and old airplanes.

Who says it's only old airplanes? :)

Boeing parks new planes in desert
April 18, 2009

Boeing has parked two new 777 freighters in the desert for China Southern Airlines because of slumping cargo demand and Air France-KLM Group may mothball a new jet as well, officials for the carriers said.

The storage of the widebody aircraft, which cost about $US257 million apiece at list price, represents a new development as the recession weighs on passenger and cargo traffic. Airlines typically park only older and less-efficient jetliners in desert locations such as Arizona, where there's enough space and the hot, dry conditions hamper corrosion.

China Southern hasn't yet accepted the 777s, which were stored by Boeing, an airline executive said today from Guangzhou. Air France said it may park the plane it's due to get next month. Chicago-based Boeing, which gets paid when planes are delivered, declined to comment on whether new aircraft are already laid up and said it's working on schedules.

"A wave of next-generation aircraft could be parked over the next few quarters," FBR Capital Markets analyst Patrick McCarthy said in a research note yesterday. "This is a marked shift." While older models put into storage may never leave the desert, more fuel-efficient jets should enter service, he said.

China Southern, the nation's biggest carrier, will delay delivery of the two 777s until the end of this year or early 2010 and is discussing the timing of two more planes now in production, the executive said.

Air France in February became the first recipient of a 777 freighter. The carrier has yet to decide whether to store a plane, said a spokeswoman from the Paris-based company who asked not to be identified. Europe's biggest carrier has already taken two 777 freighters this year, and fleet-development director Pierre Vellay said Feb. 19 that it would defer two more to some time between 2010 and 2012.

Airlines generally make downpayments when they sign purchase agreements and then pay the rest upon delivery.

Cargo slump

Global air-cargo volumes will likely fall 5% this year, outpacing a 3% decline in passenger traffic, the International Air Transport Association said last month. Air France-KLM's March freight traffic plunged 19% and the proportion of cargo space filled dropped almost 8%age points to 61.4%, excluding the Martinair unit.

As the first customer for the 777 freighter, Air France took delivery of the first plane on Feb. 20, followed by a second four days later. The airline said then it had postponed six deliveries from Boeing and European rival Airbus SAS to help save cash and cope with the global slump in air traffic.

"We're working with China Southern to deliver the airplanes on a delivery schedule that best fits their fleet requirements," said Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx. "We don't discuss our financial dealings with our customers."