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A “revolution in the air transport”. With this premonitory definition reported Mundomóvil, the weekly ABC on the motor industry, the presentation of the Boeing 747 . It was January 1970, and the device had just been filed in the united States by the first lady of then, Pat Nixon. It’s been a few months since the aircraft made its first official trip. But the world was not aware of its dimensions would transform the way we travel, until I began the new decade.

“To give you an idea in affordable units to our concept of the dimension, in the London airport has been painted on the floor the silhouette of the “Jumbo Jet”, and in their interior —only in the main body of the projection of the fuselage— have been able to be parked forty-six cars ; eight people located in each wing also helped to express the visual magnitude of the superavión”, explaining, graph, Mundomóvil in your article. The “queen of heaven” , as he was nicknamed, the device was a huge advance for the commercial aviation and allowed to boost transatlantic travel thanks to its four motors and their ability to carry more than 360 passengers. A wingspan that turned him into an iconic model, and that has ended up being their undoing.

last Wednesday, Boeing confirmed in the presentation of its half year results that it was a secret: do not make more 747 from 2022. The reason for this suspension is due, in part, to the adjustments that will have to carry out the us-based manufacturer as a result of the coronavirus. A pandemic that has been primed with the airlines that are delaying deliveries and cancelling orders. Between January and June, Boeing and Airbus collectively lost nearly 4,500 million for this circumstance. Both seek to adjust template and production to survive the crisis, which has affected the iconic models of both manufacturers. The Covid has given the lace to 747 of Boeing.

But the crisis of the “superjumbos” transcends the pandemic. Airbus has already announced a couple of years ago that it would stop manufacturing its iconic 380 by the shortage of demand that was generated in the market, where only Emirates seemed to stand for the model, taken out of the market as a response precisely to the 747. “With the improvement of the efficiency of the engines was losing sense to operate with four engines. The majority of international routes can be made with two engines instead of four. In addition the airlines are trying to gain in efficiency, and sometimes find it more profitable to put two planes smaller than a jumbo jet”, he explains to ABC, the president of the Association of Airlines (ALA), Javier Gándara.

In the case of the Boeing has also been a factor that was not present on the A380:the environmental. “The debate on sustainability is paralysed now, but as soon as the sector recovers will return. Each time there is a tendency to planes less polluting,” explains Gándara. Sources in the aviation sector adding that the forecast for the next few years is that “the order to fall practically to 0”, since the airlines will have to reduce their capacity by the pandemic.

structural Crisis

Without going more far, Iberia has already warned that it will be “smaller” in terms of fleet, during the next five years. “It’s going to be an issue in structural,” explained the president of the company, Luis Gallego , during the summit organized by CEOE of June. A month and a half later, the situation has not improved for the airlines. In fact, it has gotten worse.

But there are also those who believe that for “superjumbos” all is not lost. Logistics has emerged as an opportunity for these devices to have a second life. Just three weeks, the company Hi Fly presented an A380 aircraft converted into freighter. Where before there had been hundreds of passenger seating, there is now space for transporting 60 tons of cargo.

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