Riyadh-based low-cost airline flynas was formed in 2007 as Nas Air. Today, the Saudi carrier operates a fleet consisting entirely of members of the Airbus A320 family. However, it has seen a more diverse offering of widebody aircraft pass through its fleet in years gone by. Among these were six Boeing 747-400s. But where are they now?
Some have been scrapped
Every aircraft’s scrapping is something of an eventual inevitability. Nonetheless, it has been particularly sad to see so many examples of Boeing’s legendary ‘Queen of the Skies’ suffer this fate in recent years. Among these were two former-flynas jumbos, which had enjoyed multiple lease periods at the Saudi LCC throughout the 2010s.
According to Planespotters.net, the first example was broken up at Indonesia’s Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK) in August 2019. This aircraft had borne the registration 9M-ACM while at the airline. It spent its first 20 years (1992-2012) with Air France, before operating for various Middle Eastern and Asian carriers.
— Muhamad N (@nizanovic) January 12, 2020
It had two lease periods at flynas from Malaysian charter airline Eaglexpress. The first of these was between May and September 2013, when it was still called Nas Air. It then enjoyed a longer spell operating under the flynas brand between January 2014 and March 2016. After this, it returned to Eaglexpress, who placed it into storage for eventual scrapping just a month later.
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A second example, PK-LHG, was scrapped in Jakarta just last month. flynas leased this aircraft from Indonesian carrier Lion Air during the summers of 2015 and ’16. It sported a high-density configuration, which seated 504 passengers (12 business and 492 economy). After returning to Lion Air after summer 2016, the Indonesian airline eventually withdrew it in December 2018.
One became a restaurant
One ex-flynas 747 has had a much nicer retirement than the two that have been scrapped. Registered as PK-LHF, this aircraft also served Nas Air and flynas for two lease periods from Lion Air. These took place from September to November 2013, and from August to November 2015.
By the time it returned to Lion Air after the second lease, the aircraft’s days were numbered. However, it has since gone on to enjoy a second lease of life on the ground in Indonesia. Since February 2018, it has been preserved in the country as none other than a restaurant!
Two in storage while one remains active
To this day, one ex-flynas Boeing 747 remains active. This bears the registration ER-BAC, and it returned from its third lease period at the Saudi carrier in May 2020. Its current custodian is Moldovian charter operator Terra Avia. Data from RadarBox.com suggests that it flew as recently as last week, from Riyadh to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
Terra Avia also owns another ex-flynas 747, which bears the registration ER-BAE. Despite being comparatively young, at 17 years old, this aircraft has been in storage in Jakarta since September 2019.
The final flynas 747 bore the registration 9M-MPK while on lease at the airline. Now registered as EC-MQK, its current custodian is Spanish charter airline Wamos Air. This aircraft has been in storage at Roswell Industrial Air Center, New Mexico since November 2020.
Did you ever travel on a flynas Boeing 747? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments”!