End of an era: Qantas’ last 747 draws kangaroo in the sky before retirement

Jul 22, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

It’s the end of an era as Qantas has retired its last Boeing 747. Flight QF7474 from Sydney (SYD) departed from Australia for the final time, bound for Los Angeles (LAX) as it heads to retirement.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter!

According to the airline, the 747 taxied and received a water cannon salute before taking a lap over Sydney. The 747, with the tail number VH-OEJ, departed at 3:28 p.m. and drew a kangaroo over the Australian coast, according to Flightradar24.

Qantas isn’t the only carrier retiring its 747. Airlines including KLM, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are retiring their 747 fleets a few years early as passenger demand has dropped due to the pandemic and airlines attempt to cut costs. Some 747s are even being put to creative new uses as hotels and even scuba-diving attractions.

Just last week, we reported that British Airways, the 747’s largest operator, would retire all 31 of its Boeing 747s.

The Boeing 747 is often called the “Queen of the Skies,” as it transformed air travel and ushered in the jet age. As the original widebody jet, the 747 could fly farther and faster than any commercial passenger aircraft. The most recent version, the 747-8, has a range of 9,300 miles and carries around 400 passengers in a typical three-class configuration.

Related: How you can still use miles to fly the Boeing 747

As more airlines shift to more fuel-efficient jets like Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the Airbus A350 family, the 747s days were limited. That has only been accelerated as a result of the coronavirus. Boeing even announced it would shutter the 747 production line once the last plane on order rolls out of its Everett factory in 2022.

Despite that, you can still find 747-operated flights on several major commercial airlines, but it won’t be long until the last 747-400s are retired, leaving the next generation 747-8i as the last version of the Queen of the Skies still flying.

Only three airlines — Lufthansa, Korean Air and Air China — have opted to purchase the 747-8i.

Featured photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.