I love looking back at old airline advertisements that promote a new type of aircraft that will soon become the flagship of the fleet. We are talking about the iconic birds of yesteryear; like the Lockheed Constellation, Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and Lockheed L1011. However, there was one aircraft that let the world know that your airline has arrived (literally and figuratively): the 747 Jumbo Jet.
Before I continue, letâ€™s make sure we are on the same page about the definition of â€œflagship.â€ I really hate it when people just say â€œwell, Merriam-Webber defines <insert word here> asâ€¦â€ because it is just a super lazy way to get your point across. Whatever, it is really easy to do it that way…
flagÂ·â€‹shipÂ |Â \Â Ëˆflag-ËŒshipÂ Â \
1:Â the ship that carries the commander of a fleet or subdivision of a fleet and flies the commander’s flag
2:Â the finest, largest, or most important one of a group of things (such as products, stores, etc.)Â â€”often used before another noun
In AvGeek terms, the flagship is often the coolest airplane that they have that will make passengers think “golly gee, that is a swell plane and I want to fly on it, I am going to take that airline” (I actually tried to make that sound sarcastic, but that is how I legit feel when I am looking for flights).
With so many airlines moving to smaller aircraft (B737, A320, E-Jet, and A220) and operating aging fleets (B767,B 757, A330ceo, etc), what aircraft do they see as their flagship today? I found some that were pretty obvious, and others that had me scratching my head. I am making my best guesses based on the information that airlines put out there to the public, so I might be wrong. With one or two, I am pretty sure that I am wrong. Let me break it down by airline, let you know what I found, and you tell me if you disagree.