China Airlines is bidding farewell to its last Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft today, with a unique “fly to nowhere” flight. The flight will celebrate the aircraft’s contribution of 46 years since 1975.
To mark its retirement from passenger service, B-18215, the last production of 747-400 by Boeing for China Airlines was used for the previous mission. Aviation enthusiasts scrambled, and all tickets were sold within 5 minutes of the release of tickets. Passengers will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery above Mount Fuji and the coastline of Japan. The flight time is about 5 hours and 13 minutes. It is expected to return to Taoyuan Airport at 17:21 in the evening.
China Airlines opened the check-in counters at 7:47 a.m. Enthusiasts mentioned they have been waiting for the event since the airline announced the special flight. The airline has sold 375 tickets for this unique event.
With this special occasion, a ceremony was arranged at the Boarding gate. Passengers were greeted by China Airlines staff and offered souvenirs. Participants were invited to board the aircraft for a photo-taking opportunity and an exciting experience for both passengers and crew before boarding.
Participants were invited to board the aircraft for a final visit to the cabin. The cabins are divided into first-class, business class, and economy class three cabins as a typical long-range configuration. One of the 12 seats in first class has also been reserved for the president during the presidential visit. The seat length is up to 190 cm and the capability of a fully flatbed. Passengers can enjoy privacy during a long-range cruise.
The Director of China Airlines said to the local press that this retirement event commemorates the loyal servants’ glorious retirement from China Airlines.
He also recalled when the first 747 was introduced in 1990.
Mr. Chiu also mentioned that with the introduction of new technology, two-engine aircrafts’ performance has dramatically improved and close to the four-engine aircraft’s performance. The pandemic has affected airlines’ plans and believes that now is a suitable time to retire and will continue introducing new aircraft types in the future. The remaining 747s are expected to be resold. Although the resale plan is currently under planning, all four airliners will be retired in the coming two months.
China Airlines currently has 4 747-400 passenger planes, which will be prepared for retirement.
Have you ever flown on this aircraft? Let us know in the comments below!