After flying its last transatlantic flight, airline El Al has scheduled the final flight for its 747-400 aircraft to say goodbye to the jumbo jet.
A special 747-400 departure
Earlier this year, we reported that El Al would be retiring its final Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The airline had three remaining with retirement slated for October 2019. But El Al is not letting go of these aircraft without a bang.
In September, two of the three aircraft were retired. That leaves just 4X-ELC left in service. El Al has planned a special departure for its final ever 747-400.
According to FlyingOut, the airline confirmed that it would be making a final round trip with its 747-400. The last aircraft that El Al will operate will finish flying on 3rd November. Its final commercial flight will be on 1st November 2019.
The commercial flight will be between Rome–Fiumicino International Airport and Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
The aircraft will depart from Tel Aviv at 8:05 am on 1st November and arrive into Rome-Fiumicino at 10:30 am. On 3rd November, the aircraft will return to Tel Aviv where it will be removed from service. This flight is scheduled to leave Rome at 10 am and arrive in Tel Aviv at 3:45 pm.
El Al is giving its passengers a good deal on the last flight too. Flights for the service will be offered at a special 747-themed price. Passengers can buy flights for just 747 points to sit in business class and 400 points to sit in economy through the holiday provider Sundor Holidays.
It is not immediately clear why El Al has chosen Rome to be its final destination. The airline’s history with Rome-Fiumicino Airport has been rather bittersweet.
Rome was particularly significant for the inaugural flight pf El Al; it was used for refueling between Tel Aviv and Paris. But it was also part of three hijacking and terrorist attempts that have occurred in El Al’s lifetime. Perhaps the airline is giving the airport one more shot at glory with the farewell of its 747 aircraft.
A look at El Al’s last 747
El Al’s final aircraft is registered 4X-ELC and named Beer Sheva. According to Air Fleets, the aircraft arrived in El Al’s fleet in 1995.
El Al was the only airline to ever own the aircraft. The aircraft was set up in El Al’s standard 4-class seat configuration. It was used for long-haul flights and was recorded to have flown to LHR and JFK.
El Al has a long history with the 747. It took its first deliveries in 1971 and has been flying them ever since. Its first 747 was a -200 series but the airline has also briefly owned a -300 series as well as the -400 series. It also had three freighter models of the aircraft.
The 747-400s will be replaced by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners of which El Al already has 11. The aim for these aircraft is to improve on fuel efficiency and modernize passenger comforts, whilst maintaining and being able to build upon new and existing services. El Al speaks highly of the Dreamliner. On its website, El Al says:
“The moment you set foot in the Dreamliner, you immediately feel something different, new and exciting. This is the feeling we were aiming for when we had EL AL’s dream aircraft in mind, a combination of exceptional, warm service, along with a unique design that fully surrounds you onboard the most advanced aircraft in the world.”
Would you fly El Al’s final 747 service? What do you think about the 747 retirement? Let us know in the comments.