Tag Archives: Boeing 747-406

Want to fly on a Boeing 747-400? – Hurry up, your options are narrowing

Large wide body airliners (like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747) have been hard to fill for airlines since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded around the world this spring. Many airlines have parked their Jumbos and some have moved up the planned retirement dates of the Boeing 747-400.

If you want to fly on the passenger type you better hurry. Other than governments and cargo operators, finding a passenger Boeing 747-400 flight is a challenge right now.

Some aircraft in storage will probably become active again when the passenger demand dictates the use of large wide body aircraft again. If the demand does not come back quickly it will probably mean the end of those aircraft in storage.

Above Photos: Boeing.

Below is the current situation based on the latest information for passenger airlines (corrections and additions are always welcome) (subject to change depending on returning traffic):

Air Atlanta Icelandic – The charter and ACMI specialist airline has five passenger 747-400s. Three are currently stored and two are operating on ACMI assignments.

Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-412 TF-AMI (msn 27066) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 928104.

Above Copyright Photo: Air Atlanta Icelandic Boeing 747-412 TF-AMI (msn 27066) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 928104.

Air China – Two 747-400s are operational (B-2445 and B-2447) but they stay mostly in China these days. Another aircraft (B-2472) is operated for the government. Air China also continues to operate the newer 747-800.

2 operational (B-2445 and B-2447) + 1 VIP (B-2472)

Above Copyright Photo: Air China Boeing 747-4J6 B-2445 (msn 25882) JFK (Ken Petersen). Image: 902765.

Asiana Airlines – Only one 747-400 passenger aircraft (HL7428) is active these days so the type is probably ready to be retired this year.

Passenger version being retired by Asiana, down to one aircraft (HL7428)

Above Copyright Photo: Asiana Airlines Boeing 747-48E HL7428 (msn 28552) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 910887.

Atlas Air – The charter and ACMI specialist airline currently has three active passenger 747-400s (N464MC, N465MC and N480MC). Assuming charter demand continues this airline could be one of the last passenger operators.

Atlas Air Boeing 747-446 N465MC (msn 24784) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 921869.

Above Copyright Photo: Atlas Air Boeing 747-446 N465MC (msn 24784) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 921869.

British Airways – The former largest 747-400 passenger operator has stored all 28 aircraft pending a return of passenger demand. For now, G-CIVO operated the last revenue flight (BA9116 LOS-LHR) on May 11, 2020.

British Airways Boeing 747-436 (Tails) LHR (Dave Glendinning). Image: 908409.

Above Copyright Photo: British Airways Boeing 747-436 (Tails) LHR (Dave Glendinning). Image: 908409.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – As previously reported, PH-BFT operated the last regular revenue flight (KL686 MEX-AMS) on March 29, 2020. However the Jumbo was brought out of retirement to operate special medical cargo flights (along with PH-BFV and PH-BFW) during the pandemic. All 3 are expected to be re-retired again this year.

Type Retired: March 29, 2020 (flight KL686 MEX-AMS with PH-BFT)

Above Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) (100 Years) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 949485.

Lufthansa – The company was originally planning to retire the 747-400 fleet in 2025. That all changed with the pandemic. All 8 that remain operational are now in storage pending a return of passenger demand. D-ABVX operated the last 747-400 passenger revenue flight (LH637 RUH-FRA) on May 8, 2020.

8 stored. For now last revenue flight: May 8, 2020: LH637 RUH-FRA with D-ABVX.

Above Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Boeing 747-430 D-ABTK (msn 29871) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 938088.

Rossiya Russian Airlines – The Russian carrier parked all nine of its Boeing 747-400s. EI-XLF operated the last revenue flight (FV5876 HKT-SVO) on March 29, 2020.

Rossiya Airlines Boeing 747-446 EI-XLF (msn 27645) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 943781.

Above Copyright Photo: Rossiya Airlines Boeing 747-446 EI-XLF (msn 27645) AYT (Ton Jochems). Image: 943781.

Wamos Air – The Spanish carrier has four active Boeing 747-400s. The carrier is planning to operate the type until 2023 but this could change with lower demand.

Wamos Air Boeing 747-412 EC-KSM (msn 27178) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 937680.

Above Copyright Photo: Wamos Air Boeing 747-412 EC-KSM (msn 27178) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 937680.

Boeing 747-400 Photo Gallery.

Recent 747-400 fleet retirements:

Air India – Four 747-400s are parked and not likely to return. VT-ESO operated the last revenue flight (AI966 HYD-BOM) on March 15, 2020.

China Airlines – Four passenger 747-400s are in storage and are not likely to return. B-18215 operated the last revenue flight (CI916 HKG-TPE) on March 15, 2020.

Corsair International – The French carrier parked its three passenger Boeing 747-400s in March and they are not likely to return. F-GTUI operated the last revenue flight (S5 927 PTP-ORY) on March 26, 2020,

El Al Israel Airlines – 4X-ELC operated the last passenger 747-400 revenue flight (LY1747 FCO-TLV) on November 3, 2019.

Iraqi Airways – The last passenger Boeing 747-400 (YI-ASA) operated the last revenue flight (IA3114, MED-BGW) on February 2, 2020.

Korean Air – HL7402 operated the last 747-400 passenger revenue flight (KE630 DPS-ICN) on February 29, 2020. Korean Air continues to operate the newer 747-800.

Mahan Air – The Iranian airline was recently again operating EP-MNB (February 2020) but it appears to be no longer flying, probably due to the embargo.

QANTAS Airways – The flag carrier decided to early retire the type due to a much lower demand. VH-OEE operated the last revenue flight (QF28 SCL-SYD) on March 29, 2020.

Thai Airways International – The flag carrier is in reorganization and is cutting costs and reducing aircraft types. HS-TGA operated the last 747-400 revenue flight (TG476 SYD-BKK) on March 26, 2020.

Virgin Atlantic Airways – G-VROS operated the last revenue flight (VS608 LAX-LHR) on March 31, 2020.

Poll. Who do you think will be the last Boeing 747-400 passenger airline operator?

The Boeing 747-400 Combi to the rescue at KLM

Type Retired: March 29, 2020 (flight KL686 MEX-AMS with PH-BFT)

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is turning to its retired Boeing 747-400 Combi aircraft again to fly again. This time, without passengers.

KLM will reactivate two Boeing 747-400 Combi aircraft (plus a spare) (PH-BFT, PH-BFV and PH-BFW) due to high cargo demand. The aircraft will operate starting on April 13 to China (PEK and PVG). The China cargo airbridge is in cooperation with Philips Medical Systems for a 6-8 week period.

KLM Jumbos will be flying again!

Top Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) (100 Years) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 949485.

KLM aircraft slide show:

KLM operates the last Boeing 747 revenue flight after 49 years of service

Tpe Retired: March 29, 2020 (flight KL686 MEX-AMS with PH-BFT)

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today (March 29) operated the last Boeing 747 revenue flight.

The last revenue flight, flight KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam, was operated with 747-400 PH-BFT. The flight is due to arrive at AMS at 1537 (3:37 pm) CET local time today according to flightaware.com.

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 1971 - Best Seller

 

Above Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-206B PH-BUC (msn 19924) MEX (Christian Volpati). Image: 906730.

KLM introduced the first Boeing 747-200B in 1971. The first 747-200B (PH-BUA), named “The Mississippi”, was delivered on January 16, 1971. On February 14, 1971, the 353-seat PH-BUA operated its first commercial flight to New York. KLM was the first airline to put the higher-gross-weight Boeing 747-200B, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, into service in February 1971.

"Sir Frank Whittle", delivered on September 30, 1983

Above Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-306 N4548M (PH-BUU) (msn 23056) ATH (Richard Vandervord). Image: 949049.

On October 16, 1975 the first Boeing 747-300B Combi joined the KLM fleet, marking an important milestone for KLM’s cargo operations. In the preceding years, overcapacity was a problem in the air cargo market and this new arrival ensured greater flexibility, improving KLM’s competitive edge.

The coronavirus crisis and slowdown in travel has allowed KLM to early retire the Boeing 747-400 fleet.

Martinair will continue to operate Boeing 747-400F freighters for KLM.

Above Photo: The Boeing 747 was the queen of the KLM long-haul fleet. This 1991 photo shows the 747s gathering at the AM hub (KLM).

Top Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) (100 Years) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 949485.

KLM aircraft slide show:

KLM to operate the last Boeing 747 revenue flight on Sunday

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFW (msn 30454) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945006.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is preparing to end an era on Sunday, March 29, 2020. The carrier is ready to operate the last Boeing 747 revenue flight.

Flight KL 686 from Mexico City is due to touch down at the Amsterdam base at 1510 (3:10 pm) local time on March 29. This will be the last Boeing 747 revenue flight.

The aircraft assigned at this time is PH-BFT.

Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFW (msn 30454) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 945006.

KLM aircraft slide show:

KLM to early phase out the Boeing 747-400, reduces capacity

"100 Years" logo

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has decided to early retire its last Boeing 747-400s in April due to decreased demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Then Jumbo fleet was previously scheduled to be retired in early January 2021.

In other news, KLM is reducing its capacity this month by 25 percent and 30-40 percent in the April – June period.

Above Photo: KLM. 747s at AMS in 1991.

Top Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFV (msn 28460) (100 Years) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 949394.

KLM aircraft slide show:

KLM introduces wireless entertainment on its Boeing 747-400s

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFW (msn 30454) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946148.

KLM has made this announcement:

As of April 1, 2019, passengers flying on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ Boeing 747-400s can stream a selection of inflight entertainment offerings directly to their own mobile devices.

KLM’s wireless entertainment system offers passengers a choice of more than two hundred films and TV series. Using a server on the aircraft, passengers can stream content to their laptops, smartphones, or tablets free of charge. KLM’s partner AirFi is providing the accessible, innovative system.

KLM plans to replace its Boeing 747-400s with more efficient and economical twin-engine aircraft over the years to come. Despite the change, KLM will continue to invest in an improved entertainment experience for its passengers. This extra entertainment platform, alongside the current built-in system, is just one such example.

The new system is only available on KLM’s Boeing 747-400s. On the other long-haul flights, KLM is investing in Wi-Fi which will provide its own content streaming.

Top Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFW (msn 30454) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946148.

KLM aircraft slide show:

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KLM: Bye bye Boeing 747-400; “City of Bangkok”

The last departure of PH-BFB from LAX on November 25, 2018

From the KLM blog:

By Coco Peters,

“City of Bangkok” is the oldest Boeing 747 still in operation at KLM. This aircraft type has iconic status in aviation history. The Boeing arrived in Amsterdam from Seattle in 1989 and has, in the meantime, carried a considerable number of passengers. But now it’s time to say farewell. Boeing 747-400 City of Bangkok will soon fly its last flight after almost 30 years of faithful service.

I was lucky enough to be allowed to watch this “crate” undergo its final service. There is nothing better for an intern than to be allowed to nose around an aircraft. Every time I go into a hangar (I make it sound as if I go every week, but it was only my third time) my KLM-blue heart starts to beat a little faster. How bizarre it is that such an enormous machine can get up into the air. This aircraft weighs around 178,750 kilograms. It is completely empty now. Where there would normally be 408 passengers, plus cockpit and cabin crew, there is no one. The Boeing 747-400 is in Hangar 11 for maintenance.

Boeing 747-400 facts:

  • Wing span: 64.44m (a football pitch is between 64m and 75m wide, that’s how wide a Boeing 747-400 is).
  • Length: 70.67m
  • Cruising speed: 920kmph
  • Range: 12,900km
  • Number of passengers: 408
  • In service at KLM since June 1989
  • This machine has spent a total of 134,279 hours in the air and performed 18,024 take-offs (and, luckily, 18,024 landings too). This is equivalent to 15.7 years of non-stop flying!

Imagine, if the average load factor over all 29 years was 80%, with 408 seats on board, you would come out at (0.8 x 408) x 18,024 = 5,883,033.6. That’s nearly 6 million passengers who have been carried by this aircraft over the years. Berlin has a population of around 6 million.

City of Bangkok There is something in this aircraft you won’t find in any other, namely, a plaque, I suppose you’d call it, saying “Presented to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines by Bangkok Metropolitan administration on the occasion of the first arrival of this aircraft named THE CITY OF BANGKOK in Thailand, April 1991.”

Naming an aeroplane

But something special happened in Amsterdam too. On 1 July 1989, the City of Bangkok was named by nine Thai monks from the 100-year old monastery in the district of Laksi. This is the same district where the KLM Catering and crew hotel is located in Bangkok. The ceremony took place in Hangar 11 at Schiphol Oost. More than 200 people attended and a special Thai meal was prepared for the monks. I spent ages trying to find the exact spot where the monks baptised the aircraft, but I think the ink must have faded, because I couldn’t find it.

Flat in business

Colleagues gave me a tour of the interior, from the cockpit to the crew sleeping area. (You knew that the crew sleep on board during long flights, right?) A quick peek in the cockpit and a moment in the CO-CO seat – this was especially good, because my name is Coco. Unfortunately, for security reasons, we’re not allowed to share this photo with you.

A lovely lie down, flat, in World Business Class; wonderful, but regrettably the plane stayed in the hangar, otherwise I would happily have stayed there. It felt really special to be allowed to do all this as a simple intern. Not everyone gets the chance to be so close to an aircraft, let alone to be shown around one. I felt like an aircraft fanatic, although I have always liked aircraft – when they get me to my destination and home again. But that has changed now. I can quite easily say that I have the best internship.

If you would like to see this queen of the air one more time, Boeing 747-400 City of Bangkok will take off for the last time on 25 November and land on 26 November.

* The Boeing 747 fleet will be replaced in the coming years by the Boeing 777 and the 787 Dreamliner. These newer aircraft use less fuel and less CO2. In 2020 we want to generate 20% less CO2 emissions than in 2011.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by KLM and the writer): The last departure from Los Angeles of PH-BFB: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFB (msn 24000) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944574.

KLM aircraft slide show:

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KLM to delay the retirement of its Boeing 747-400 fleet

Named "Vancouver"

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines currently operates a dozen Boeing 747-400 Jumbos.

 

 

The carrier is due to receive seven new Airbus A350-900 aircraft from the Air France-KLM order for 25 of the type. The A350s and new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners will replace the final 747s in the fleet.

However, according to Air Journal, KLM has delayed the delivery of the new A350s by a year. KLM will now introduce the A350 in 2021 with deliveries through 2023.

Therefore the majestic KLM 747s are not likely to be gone until the new A350s are entirely delivered and in service.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by KLM and individual photographers): KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFV (msn 28460) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 941271.

KLM aircraft slide show:

KLM scores a record result in 2017

Gradual phase-out by 2020

“Our results for 2017 confirm that we are on the right track. Thanks to the efforts of all KLM staff and the loyalty of our customers and partners, KLM achieved a record operating result (COI) of EUR 910 million in 2017. This result was enhanced by our improved operating margin, which rose from 6.9% to 8.8%. The improvement of EUR 229 million is largely driven by higher unit revenues, which were mainly fuelled by favourable market developments. Our employees will also benefit from these improved result, with profit-sharing figures even higher than they were last year. The 2017 results confirm that the strategy we launched in late 2014 – to cut costs on the one hand, while investing on the other – has proved successful. However, this does not imply that we can sit back. We have our house in order, but our competitors are building skyscrapers. That is why we need to keep growing and investing, so that we have a hand in shaping the game.”

Pieter Elbers – KLM President & CEO
infographic

 

Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) AMS (Greenwing). Image: 929148.

KLM aircraft slide show:

KLM and VNC reach an agreement in principle on a new contract

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 931791.

KLM and the VNC trade union for cabin crew negotiated an agreement in principle on Friday January 5, 2018, for a new collective labour agreement valid until June 1, 2019. This is an important step in the negotiation of a new collective labor agreement for KLM cabin crew.

KLM is pleased to have reached an agreememt in priciple with the largest Cabin trade union the VNC on the details of the new collective labor agreement (CLA). Together, KLM and the VNC worked hard to arrive at a balanced package. The VNC will now present the agreement in principle with a positive advise to its council of members. Around 70% of KLM cabin crew are members of the VNC.

FNV Cabine

KLM has also shared the results of negotiations with the FNV Cabine trade union for cabin crew. KLM has urged FNV Cabine to call off the strike scheduled for coming Monday, allowing them to share the negotiated agreements with its members, so that FNV Cabine and the VNC can jointly formalise a collective labor agreement with KLM.

Copyright Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-406 PH-BFT (msn 28459) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 931791.