Qantas will say goodbye to its last Boeing 747 with a series of ‘farewell jumbo joy flights’ in July from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. And you can be part of history too by being on them.
The end of a glorious era in trans-global travel is upon us as Qantas farewell their last in-service Boeing 747 with three-hour-long joy flights in mid-July.
In celebration of four decades of Australian aviation, the last jumbo ‘red roo’ will fly over Sydney on July 13, Brisbane on July 15 and Canberra on July 17 with the flight number QF747.
The flights will be operated on a cost-recovery basis and profits will be donated to the HARS Aviation Museum at Albion Park (Wollongong) and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach to support their efforts to preserve and promote the 747 legacies for future generations.
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,” Captain Weaver said.
Qantas’ first Boeing 747-200B came into service as QF’s flagship aircraft in 1971 to enhance its long-haul fleet and became the only all-Boeing-747 international carrier in the world by 1979.
Over the last forty years, Qantas has remarkably owned and operated a total of sixty-five 747s with a number of different models.
Qantas had announced on June 25 that it would retire its last six 747s immediately, six months ahead of schedule as part of the groups COVID-19 recovery plan.
To replace the great jumbo workhorse, Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will become the airlines’ new flagship aircraft with a fleet of eleven 787-9’s by the end of 2020.
The 787 Dreamliner is more cost-effective to fly, has better environmentally-friendly credentials and a longer range, enabling the airline to fly the direct Perth-London sector as well as further flights that have been earmarked for Project Sunrise.
Speaking about the evolution of the fleet, Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce had said previously:
“This really is the end of one era and the start of another. The jumbo has been the backbone of Qantas International for more than 40 years and we’ve flown almost every type that Boeing built. It’s fitting that its retirement is going to coincide with our centenary in 2020,”
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO
“Over the years, each new version of the 747 allowed Qantas to fly further and improve what we offered passengers. The Dreamliners are now doing the same thing.”
“By the end of 2020, we’ll have farewelled the 747, finished upgrading the cabins of our A380s and welcomed our fourteenth 787. That’s a great proposition for our customers and creates some really exciting opportunities for our people,”
The final 747-400 in the fleet will depart Sydney for Los Angeles at approximately 2 pm on 22 July 2020 as flight QF7474.
Sadly, once she reaches the Mojave Desert, she will be cut up for scrap and hopefully ends up recycled and reborn as something equally amazing.
The joy flights will go on sale at midday on Wednesday 8 July on Qantas.com. Economy fares cost $400 and a small number of Business Class tickets will be available for $747 with additional extras included.
Seats will be limited to maximise passenger comfort (in line with other previously operated joy flights).
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