As major airlines are gradually retiring the Boeing 747 from their fleet, Qantas made an announcement that they will also see the plane leaving by 2020, the final flight being on February 9th from Sydney to Los Angeles.
The 747 is still the most iconic aircraft ever built and probably the best design apart from the Concorde which is already out of service since October 2003.
Qantas had every model of the Boeing 747 in it’s fleet that left the factory since 1971 when it was first put in service. It now coincides that a more popular Boeing aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, will mark the retirement of the 747.
You can read Qantas press announcement on their website here.
Qantas has today announced an order for six additional Boeing 787-9s to fly on its international network, bringing its fleet of Dreamliners to 14 by the end of 2020.
The arrival of the new aircraft will enable the airline to accelerate retirement of its last six Boeing 747s – an aircraft type that has been in its fleet in various forms since 1971.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the announcement was an important moment for the national carrier.
“This really is the end of one era and the start of another. The jumbo has been the backbone of Qantas International for more than 40 years and we’ve flown almost every type that Boeing built. It’s fitting that its retirement is going to coincide with our centenary in 2020,” Mr Joyce said.
Now Qantas has updated their schedule and published the date of the last flight for the 747 which will go from Sydney to Los Angeles.
After 17 years of flying, our Boeing 747 – ‘Sydney’ (VH-OEF) will set off on its final journey from Sydney to Los Angeles. Use your Qantas Points to book a Classic Flight Reward seat from 41,900 points + A$232 taxes, fees and carrier charges one way. With great availability in Economy, Premium Economy and Business, secure your seat on this historic flight today.
I checked with British Airways Executive Club in this regard and found availability there as well:
Of course the pricing with BAEC is pretty crazy when it comes to premium awards. This one way Business Class award prices at 154,500 miles plus $145 taxes. Maybe not the best deal but at least it’s possible to book.
Final chance for all B747 enthusiasts to “fly the tail” one more time on the Jumbo before it goes to the boneyard. Revenue fares are high as expected but the mileage tickets are reasonably priced in some cases. Of course each program has it’s own award chart but not the same availability.
I suggest to book this soon if you’re keen on going as I’d imagine availability to dry up at some point. However regular travelers might be better off going on a more comfortable A380 instead of flying the old lady for 14 hours to LAX.