How many Boeing 727s are still in service

How many Boeing 727 are still in service in 2023?

Boeing 727 is the second aircraft built in Boeing’s famous 7×7 series, an aircraft that differentiates itself from the others as it is Boeing’s only trijet. It was built for 22 years resulting in a total of 1,832 units, between 1962 and 1984, so the youngest Boeing 727 aircraft still in service is approaching 39 years old. Typically, planes are withdrawn from use after about 35 years in service, implying that fewer and fewer 727s will remain in service as time goes on.

Lufthansa Boeing 727-100
Lufthansa Boeing 727-100

After a thorough analysis of all the flights from this year, we found that as of March 2023, there are 23 Boeing 727 aircraft still in service. By analyzing the data provided by RadarBox, one of the most widely used flight tracking systems, the flights were examined, and relevant details such as the registration number, operator, age, and configuration were extracted for each 727 aircraft. The collected information was then compiled into a table that can be found at the end of this article.

How many airlines still use the Boeing 727

Oil Spill Response Boeing 727-200
Oil Spill Response Boeing 727-200

There are currently 10 airlines that still operate the Boeing 727, with 3 of these airlines having three 727s each still in service. These airlines are IFL Group Airlines, Kalitta Charters, and Total Linhas Aéreas. All of these use the 727s in cargo configuration, flying goods around the world to various destinations. Although the 727s are no longer used in commercial passenger services, their ability to transport heavy and oversized cargo still makes them valuable for certain transportation needs. Aside from the 10 airlines operating the 727s, there are also three 727s owned by the Mexican government and two 727s privately owned.

However, one airline stands out from the others in terms of the unique role it has assigned to its Boeing 727s. That airline is 2Excel Aviation, which uses its two 727s as oil spill response aircraft. In the event of an oil spill, the planes fly at low altitudes over the affected area, spraying dispersants that break down the oil slick into smaller droplets that can be more easily biodegraded. This process helps minimize the environmental impact of the oil spill and prevent damage to wildlife in the area.

Which 727 variant is still in service and how old are these planes

Boeing 727-200
Boeing 727-200, By Iberia Airlines – Flickr: B-727, CC BY 2.0,

The 727-200 and 727-200 Advanced variants continue to operate in cargo, private, and tanker configurations.

The youngest 727 still in service is operated by the American Airline, IFL Group, and is 39 years old. In contrast, the oldest 727 still in service is 47 years old and is owned by the Brazilian airline, Total Linhas Aéreas, which was founded in 1988 and has a fleet of 5 airplanes, with three of them being 727s. Despite its age, the aircraft has undergone the necessary modifications and upgrades to ensure that it meets current safety and operational standards.

All Boeing 727 aircraft still in service

Owner/ AirlineNumber of 727s (Registration numbers)Role
Serve Air Cargo1 (9S-AVZ)Cargo
2Excel Aviation2 (G-OSRA; G-OSRB)Oil Spill Response
Astral Aviation1 (5Y-NIV)Cargo
Starling Aviation1 (M-STAR)VIP Transport
IFL Group3 (N281FL; N215WE; N216WE)Cargo
Kalitta Charters II3 (N729CK;  N725CK; N726CK)Cargo
Air Class Lineas Aereas2 (CX-CLC;  CX-CAR)Cargo
Total Linhas Aéreas3 (PR-TTP; PR-TTW; PR-TTO)Cargo
Cargojet Airways1 (C-GCJB)Cargo
USA Jet Airlines1 (N727US)Cargo
Private 2 (N727NK; VP-BAP)Private
Mexican Government3 (XC-NFP; XC-MPF; XC-OPF)Governmental

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