Korean Air’s Boeing 747-400 Gets A Stay Of Retirement

Korean Air is one of only a handful of passenger airlines operating the Boeing 747-8. However, the airline also operates the Boeing 747-400, a type that it was due to be retired later this month.

Korean Air, Boeing 747, Retirement
Korean Air’s Boeing 747-400s are due for retirement before the end of the year. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia

The Boeing 747, also known as the Queen of the skies, has a long history dating right back to its first flight just over 50 years ago. However, while many airlines are looking to retire their fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft, the 747-8 looks to still have some years left yet. Despite this, Korean Air has delayed retiring its Boeing 747-400 aircraft for the time being.

A brief Boeing 747 history

Since its first flight some 50 years ago in February 1969, the Boeing 747 has become an icon of the aviation industry. The aircraft was the only one, for many years, to have two passenger decks. This gave the aircraft its iconic hump on the front. What started as a small hump has gradually been extended as the years have gone by. In fact, some older 747s have even been retrofitted with extended humps.

However, these days two engines are seen as preferable to four. In fact, the Boeing 747-8, the 747’s latest iteration, only had orders from three passenger airlines, Korean Air included. While the 747-400 will always be the Queen of the skies, she just can’t compete in terms of efficiency with the latest aircraft. As such, both British Airways and KLM, the world’s two oldest airlines, are retiring the 747-400 along with many others.

Korean Air, Boeing 747, Retirement
The Boeing 747 took its first flight in February 1969, 50 years ago. Photo: Boeing

A stay of retirement

Korean Air had been due to retire its Boeing 747-400 aircraft by the end of October. However, according to Routesonline, Korean Air will continue to operate the Boeing 747-400 until the 18th of November 2019 now.

According to the publication, the Boeing 747-400 will operate daily between Seoul and Denpasar from the 27th of October 2019 to the 4th of November 2019. Then, from the 9th of November until the 18th of November, the aircraft will operate the route on Mondays and Saturdays. According to Routesonline, the aircraft would operate on KE629 and KE630.

  • KE629 Departs from Seoul at 17:40, arriving in Denpasar at 23:55.
  • KE630 Departs from Denpasar at 01:05, arriving in Seoul at 09:20.


Korean Air, Boeing 747, Retirement
Korean Air will continue to operate the Boeing 747-8. Photo: tjdarmstadt via Wikimedia

When the Boeing 747-400 is eventually retired from Korean Air’s fleet however, we will still see the blue livery painted on 747’s traversing the world. The airline ordered 10 passenger 747-8 aircraft from Boeing across two different orders. With an age of as little as 2.3 years old, they are unlikely to be retired any time soon.

Have you flown on Korean Air’s Boeing 747? What is your favorite memory of the type? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

The schedule information in this article was originally published by Routesonline.