How many different final flights will the 747-400 take? For Delta Air Lines today is the final “final flight” for the type as N674US finally flies off to the boneyard in Arizona as flight DL9971.
Wheels up! #DL747Farewell pic.twitter.com/LRAzzfsyox
— Delta News Hub (@DeltaNewsHub) January 3, 2018
Today’s flight comes after:
- The final scheduled domestic flight last summer
- A couple extra domestic flights after that for hurricane evacuation lift from Florida
- The final scheduled international flight from Seoul in December
- The extra final scheduled flight from Seoul added in after the “celebratory” flight; incidentally, this flight was then delayed a day because of crew staffing issues
- A grand “farewell” tour of 13 final flights (mostly for crew and media) to the various hubs the 747 served under the Delta and Northwest brands
- The final charter flights, culminating with the Clemson Tigers football team’s trip home on 2 January; bonus points for getting all the charter customers to share the social media love for the #DL747Farewell tour
I probably missed a few in there, too.
The celebration en route to Marana, Arizona will include a wedding on board, among other things.
Midair vows: An @Delta flight attendant and pilot who met on a 747 20 years ago will be married on today’s final 747 flight to Marana, Arizona. pic.twitter.com/bAd8THVnzB
— Dawn Gilbertson (@DawnGilbertson) January 3, 2018
Oh, and the 747 really isn’t gone yet.
This is the final retirement for a US-based scheduled passenger operator but not the last US-based passenger 747 (Atlas Air flies them for charter) and definitely not the last passenger 747-400 (British Airways expects ~5 more years of flights, including many US routes). Plus there are the 747-8i still flying, though not nearly as many of those as the prior generations of 747.
Delta isn’t quite correct here. Today’s #DL747Farewell was the last 747 revenue flight for a US *mainline* carrier. But when including charter operations, which this flight was, Atlas Air still flies US-registered passenger 747s for charters. #aviation #travel #avgeek https://t.co/gwqMVlb2w7
— Ian Kluft (@ikluft) January 2, 2018
I’m in favor of celebrating airplanes and aviation and these fleet retirements are as good a reason as any. But the Delta #DL747Farewell saga seems to be dragging on quite a while now. Perhaps it really ends today.
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The final final final final 747 at DL is the same one we flew ICN-DTW on almost a month ago.
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