Airlines are increasingly using newer, twin-engine planes, and the 747′s share of available seat miles—a measure of total capacity and mileage on scheduled passenger flights—among similarly sized aircraft is expected to fall 14.1 percentage points by April 2015 from 2009 levels. Over the same period, the Airbus 330′s share of seat miles is set to grow 8.8 percentage points and the Boeing 777′s will grow 8.7 points, according to past and scheduled airline operations data compiled by PlaneStats.com. [...]
The 747 made transcontinental vacations affordable to many for the first time in history. When it was introduced there was no plane that could fly as far (6,000 miles at the time, but for the newer models closer to 8,000), nor carry as many passengers. It has permeated culture, making cameos in hundreds of movies and TV shows—from Goodfellas to Snakes on a Plane.