It’s generally accepted that most of the world’s airlines have sent their jumbos and least efficient jets to storage during COVID-19 pandemic. With the deterioration in passenger traffic, airlines have opted to use twin-jet aircraft, which are more accessible to fill and easier to maintain. But there are certainly a few airlines that seemingly still operate the 747 – let’s find out which ones.
Air China has one 747-400, and some -8s still flying. The -400, registration B-2447, has mostly been flying domestic operations in and out of Beijing – most recently performing a few trips to Shenzhen.
As for the airline’s newer 747s, the -8s, these have been flying longer distances. Aircraft with registrations B-2481, B-2485, and B-2487, have all been flying completely between Beijing and Los Angeles.
German airline Lufthansa is listed as having four active 747-8 aircraft.
All four aircraft appear to be based in Frankfurt and are flying services in and out of the airport to and from the cities of Chicago, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo
Finally, there is Air India, with a 747-400 still flying. VT-EVA appears to be flying mainly domestic operations in and out of Mumbai. In recent days, the aircraft has flown to the cities of Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram.
However, on June 13th and 19th, the jumbo jet has flown to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. This would presumably be a repatriation flight – taking home hundreds of Indian ex-pat workers from Saudi Arabia.
Cargo airlines are the largest group of airlines still flying the 747 – obviously as freighter variants. Airlines include Polar Air Cargo, Kalitta Air, Atlas Air, and UPS. However, there are some passenger airlines flying 747s for cargo purposes/for their cargo divisions. These include Air China, KLM, and Korea’s Asiana Airlines.
Another exciting assortment of “airlines” are Government-operated 747s. The governments of Bahrain, Oman, Dubai, and South Korea all have 747-400s classified as still active.
The United States Air Force also has four 747-200s listed as active while three -200s are always engaged with the Iranian Air Force.