Qantas Just Sent One of its Last Remaining Boeing 747s to the Boneyard
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The Queen of the Skies is beginning to make her final descent into retirement, and Qantas, formerly one of the biggest operators of the Jumbo Jet, has begun the process of retiring its last five Boeing 747-400s. This week, the first of its last batch of 747s to hit retirement, tail number VH-OJM, landed in its final resting place in Mojave, California.
As the Jumbos are phased out, Qantas will bring in new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to replace them. The Sydney-based carrier has eight Dreamliners on order, all of the -9 variant, and it expects to take delivery of its first in a couple of months, according to Business Traveler.
Qantas will continue to retire its remaining 747s in the coming months and years in order to make room for the incoming Dreamliners. OJM was delivered to Qantas in 1991, and since then it has transported more than four million people and clocked enough miles to fly to the moon and back 120 times.
After Qantas retires its final 744s over the course of the next couple of years, it’ll have just six 747-400ERs left in its fleet, the Extended Range version that can carry a heavier load over a longer distance than the base model. Once all of its 747 are retired, only its A380s will have a first-class cabin, as the incoming Dreamliners will feature just a business-class cabin (42 lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration).
In the US, United and Delta, the last two operators of the 747 among the American majors, are both in the process of phasing out the Jumbo. TPG’s Wallace Cotton was on the final scheduled United domestic flight on a 747 last week. And perhaps the last passenger 747 of them all was delivered to Korean Air at the end of July.
Featured image courtesy of Barcroft Media via Getty Images.