As Qantas counts down to the delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner in October 2017, the clock is also ticking away on the airline’s dwindling fleet of Boeing 747 jumbo jets – once the iconic mainstay of the Qantas international network.
By the middle of 2018, when Qantas expects to have four Dreamliners in its hangars, its two oldest Boeing 747s – one which arrived in 1991, the other in 1998 – will be put out to pasture.
These aircraft are notable for their inclusion of dated first class seats in the jumbo’s nose (shown below), and are most often seen on flights from Sydney to Tokyo, Johannesburg and Santiago.
By mid-2019, with a total of eight Boeing 787s in Qantas stripe, three more red-tailed Boeing 747s will have made their final flight.
These will be largely replaced by the streamlined Boeing 787 or one of Qantas’ six remaining long-range Boeing 747-400ER models which currently fly to Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.
Farewell to the Queen
Dubbed the Queen of the Skies by its many fans, the Boeing 747 has been overtaken by the larger and more advanced Airbus A380 and the high-tech Boeing 787.
Qantas took delivery of its first Boeing 747 in September 1971, with the jet showcasing a new livery which has since been brought back to life on the Boeing 737 RetroRoo.
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