China Airlines is planning a special goodbye for the Boeing 747-400, which is being retired from its fleet early this year. The airline will operate a special farewell flight with one of its 747-400s, which also happens to be the last passenger -400 to have been built by Boeing.
2020, while now behind us, will be remembered as the year of mass Boeing 747 retirements. Major operators from across the globe retired their entire fleets early including British Airways, KLM, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, and others. However, it seems as though the retirements haven’t stopped, with China Airlines now joining the mix in 2021.
A special farewell
The Queen of the Skies is an iconic aircraft. With over 50 years of history, the jumbo jet’s unique fuselage has made it a favorite with passengers and plane spotters the world over. But, like all good things, the reign of the queen is coming to an end.
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Unlike some airlines, British Airways included, China Airlines is planning a special one-off flight to commemorate the Queen’s retirement. The experience will cost between 7,470 TWD ($266) and 10,747 TWD ($383), slightly more than Virgin Atlantic’s £50 ($68) 747 farewell late last year. Passengers will get to fly on the Boeing 747-400 one last time for almost six hours for this fee.
What do passengers get?
Much like ANA’s Airbus A380 flights to nowhere, China Airlines’ offering will be more than just a flight. Check-in will begin at 07:47, lasting until 09:00 on February 6th. Before the flight, there will be special activities in the departure lounge, including a photo experience for business and first class passengers.
The five hour and 40-minute flight is scheduled to depart from Taoyuan at 11:30 with the flight number CI2747. It will fly out to Japan, where it will overfly Mount Fuji before returning to Taoyuan.
Of course, there will be gifts!
It seems as though passengers are in for a real treat onboard this special flight. Firstly, there will be a host of gifts given to each passenger. These include a 1:200 Boeing 747-400 model, a branded face mask, a key ring, a canvas bag, and more.
Onboard the flight itself, passengers will benefit from meals explicitly designed for this farewell, with a Japanese theme. Sales of tickets will begin on January 6th at 10:00 and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be sold on the KKday website.
According to China Airlines, the aircraft to be used for the flight is B18215. The airline states that this was the last 747-400 to be built for passengers by Boeing. Data from Planespotters.net shows that the 15.8-year-old 747-400 was delivered to China Airlines in April 2005. Following its retirement, the aircraft is bound for GA Telesis.
What have other airlines done to say goodbye?
China Airlines isn’t alone in planning a special farewell for the Boeing 747. In 2019 El Al flew a giant 747 shape in the sky while saying goodbye to its last 747. Meanwhile, last year Qantas ran three goodbye flights for the queen before drawing a giant kangaroo in the skies on its final retirement flight of the type.
What do you make of this final flight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!