The 747 is the plane which changed global aviation about 45 years ago, and it’s sad to see so many airlines retire them. I totally get why they’re doing it, given that there are more fuel efficient long range aircraft out there nowadays, but it doesn’t make it any less sad. The 747 is also one of the few planes just about anyone could identify, whether an aviation geek or not.
In early December I wrote about how Air France was retiring the 747, and planned one last commemorative flight around Paris on the plane, which passengers could book. It was a farewell to the plane, so to speak. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a ticket on the flight, and I’m jealous of those who were on it. The good news is that Air France has put many commemorative videos online about the 747.
Here’s a video from Air France’s last commercial 747 flight, from Mexico City to Paris on January 10:
Then here’s a video from Air France’s commemorative flight around Paris on January 14:
Perhaps most spectacularly of all, here’s a video of an Air France 747 flying in formation with the Patrouille de France:
If you head over to Air France’s YouTube page, you’ll see several other awesome commemorative videos, including interviewers with pilots, flight attendants, rampers, etc.
And I can’t in good conscience post anything about the 747 retiring without sharing the below video again, from Singapore Airlines’ last 747 flight between Hong Kong and Singapore:
The announcement after landing makes me tear up almost every time. What a beautiful tribute.
It’s sad to see yet another airline retire the queen of the skies, though it makes perfect sense, given the lower capacity, long range, fuel efficient planes out there. It is interesting how certain airlines, like British Airways and Lufthansa, are gladly continuing to operate the 747, while others can’t get rid of them soon enough.