The first of Qantas’ three ‘Farewell 747 Jumbo Joy Flights’ took off from Sydney yesterday with Brisbane and Canberra up next for the historic end of the line departures.
With the end of a glorious era in trans-global travel upon us, Qantas is farewelling its last Boeing 747 in style with three-hour-long joy flights before she takes off for the Mojave Desert in California at the end of this month.
The first of the three memorial flights happened yesterday in Sydney with the 50-year old 747 taxiing gracefully through an honorary water cannon on the runway ay SYD Airport before she took off for an hour-long joy-flight over the sparkling harbour and city.
On a stunning blue-sky Sydney Winter’s day, the weather couldn’t have been more fitting to farewell Qantas’ much loved ‘Queen Of The Skies’.
The Jumbo did several low-level farewell fly-bys including Sydney’s northern beaches, the harbour and the city at a jaw-dropping ‘I can see what those office workers are eating for lunch’ altitude of just 1500 feet.
254 lucky passengers got to enjoy the celebratory spectacle on board, mostly who were aviation enthusiasts who had sat with bated breath last week to snaffle a seat via the Qantas website (hello lightning fingers) before they sold out just ten minutes later.
The one-hour joy flights on Wunula (VH-OEJ) take in key highlights of each city (SYD/BNE and CBR), including a low-level flyby over the coast. The pilots and cabin crew will roam the cabin during the flight for chats and photo opportunities.
Socially distanced seats for the three flights cost $400 for an economy seat and $747 for business.
Included in the economy ticket is pre-flight morning tea, a light lunch inflight and an exclusive gift bag plus a guided tour of the 747 by the pilots, including a behind the scenes peek at the crew rest area and a photo opportunity in front of aircraft after the flight.
The business class ticket includes all of the above plus a nicer seat (obviously), an additional goody bag with merchandise including a Retro Roo bowling bag and priority access for a post-flight cockpit visit.
Premium economy seats were quite rightly reserved for Qantas staff who had entered a draw to win one.
Qantas 747 Fleet Captain Owen Weaver said the 747 has a special place in the hearts of many Australians.
“The 747 has been a magnificent aircraft and it’s fitting that we celebrate the end of five decades of history-making moments for the national carrier and aviation in Australia,”
The first farewell flight in Sydney will be followed by Brisbane on 15 July, and Canberra on 17 July. All flights are on Qantas’ 747-400(ER) VH-OEJ.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you – Wunala was the aircraft that brought the Australian Olympic team home from the Rio Olympics in 2016 with special livery featuring a boxing Kangaroo.
The last 747’s final journey will depart Sydney for Los Angeles at approximately 2 pm on 22 July 2020 as flight QF7474 before heading onto her final destination, the Mojave Desert.
Sadly, once she reaches the Desert Airpark, she will be cut up for scrap and hopefully ends up recycled and reborn as something equally amazing.
Farewell ‘Wunula’ and thanks for the memories.
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