The very last 747 operating for Spanish charter airline Wamos Air has left Spain. EC-KXN is a 27-year-old Boeing 747-400 and is heading to the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan. Before its retirement, EC-KXN was chartered multiple times to bring stranded citizens home during the outbreak of COVID.
The last 747 for Wamos
The Being 747 has been a staple of charter airline Wamos Air’s fleet for many years. Since its first was delivered in 2016, it has operated a modest fleet of eight, accounting for half of its entire fleet. Three left the fleet prior to 2020, two of which were rather unceremoniously scrapped, but the airline had maintained a fleet of five going into COVID.
Just like so many other airlines in 2020, Wamos found the 747 was no longer suitable for its needs. The airline already had plans in place to phase out the type by 2022-23, but the pandemic served to speed up this timeline somewhat.
Of the final five, one was scrapped in January last year. Three more left the fleet and headed across the Atlantic, for storage in the giant facility at Roswell. The final aircraft, EC-KXN, however, remained in Spain past the end of the year. Today, it left on its final flight, but is not following its sisters to Roswell. Indeed, it’s going in the opposite direction.
The fate of EC-KXN
The 747 was in regular use with Wamos until last summer. In early 2020, it operated some 25 or so flights and notching up over 100 flight hours each month.
Interestingly, even through the early stages of lockdown, the aircraft remained busy. It was instrumental in repatriating stranded passengers from all over the world, including bringing UK passengers home from Tokyo off the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
BREAKING: Wamos Air Boeing 747-400 EC-KXN has just landed at MoD Boscombe Down after its 12-hour flight from Tokyo Haneda, bringing home UK passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. #COVID19 #CoronaVirus #coronavirusuk
Captures: Sky News pic.twitter.com/yYf3wcA58H
— Airport Webcams (@AirportWebcams) February 22, 2020
Over the next few months, it was seen in many interesting locations, including Guatemala City, Barbados and Wuhan in China. In April and May, the aircraft barely rested at all, with 14 and 18 flights, respectively. By June, however, most people had made it home, and there was less work for the 747 to do.
On July 19th, EC-KXN conducted its last revenue flight. It flew from Frankfurt to Madrid and then was parked up for the rest of the year. Until today that is.
Today, Wamos Air’s last Boeing 747 took off for the final time from Madrid. She is flying under flight number PLM100P and took off around three and a half hours ago. She is roughly halfway through her journey, which will take her to Central Asia, to the country of Kyrgyzstan.
The final destination is listed as Manas International Airport, the main facility for the country. The fate of the aircraft is not known, but the airport is well equipped to dismantle the plane. When Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Manas became home to around 60 abandoned Soviet aircraft. A handful can be seen on satellite still there today.
Do you have any memories of flying on a Wamos Air 747? Or indeed on EC-KXN? Let us know in the comments.