The fleet will be replaced with more fuel- and cost-efficient aircraft, the company says.

By Reuters
January 12, 2017

United Continental Holdings Inc ual said on Wednesday it had advanced the retirement of 747s from its service to the fourth quarter of this year from end-2018.

United will replace the Boeing 747 fleet, which it has been flying since 1970, with other fuel-efficient, cost-effective and widebody aircraft, Scott Kirby, president, United Airlines, wrote in a blog.

The No.3 U.S. airline by passenger traffic operated 22 747-400 owned and leased aircraft of its total 715 mainline fleet as of Dec. 31, 2015.

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Boeing Co ba said in July it would consider ending production of 747s as it faced falling orders and pricing pressure.

The aircraft maker delivered a total nine 747s in 2016, half the deliveries in 2015.

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