British Airways, Cathay Recall 'Idled' Jets
Boeing Co. 747 jumbo jets are being brought out of desert storage as surging bookings spur carriers including British Airways Plc, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and United Airlines to return their biggest planes to traffic.
British Airways will restore a second 747-400 to its winter timetable in October after recalling one in May for use on its London-New York route. UAL Corp.'s United brought a jumbo out of storage in California in June for deployment to Asia, London and Frankfurt and Cathay Pacific has reinstated five freighters.
Wide-body planes accounted for about 25 percent of the 200 aircraft retrieved from storage in May and June as carriers sought to tap rising demand for long-haul trips and a leap in cargo shipments. The number of 747s recalled in June exceeded those mothballed for the first time since January 2009, data compiled by aviation consultant Ascend Worldwide Ltd. shows.
"Everybody is getting very excited about passenger and cargo volumes coming back, but there's a great temptation to add too much capacity," said Chris Tarry, an independent airline analyst and strategy consultant in London who has followed the industry for almost three decades. …