Since late 2017, most of United’s former 747-400s have been gathering dust in California’s Mojave Desert, becoming little more than a relic of the past. But one United 747 has just returned to the skies.
A toss-up question: which airline has the largest fleet of 747 aircraft in the world? Hint: it is not an airline that operates scheduled passenger service.
The answer is Atlas Air, which maintains a fleet of 45 747-400s as well as 10 747-8Fs. These are used for cargo operations, charters, and leases to other airlines.
United still has eight 747s that remain airworthy in Victorville (VCV), California. These are for sale, either in whole or for parts. The remaining 747s have been sold or been used for spare parts.
Atlas Air recently acquired one of United’s intact 747-400s and now it has taken to the air once again. The aircraft, N119UA, will undergo a new paint job and is already back in the skies, currently in Hong Kong.
I’ll never forget United’s final 747 flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. It was an amazing flight that will go down as one of the best flights of my life. Nor will I forget my many wonderful 747-400 flights over the years, from airlines including British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Qantas, Thai Airways, and of course scores of flights on United. It makes me smile to know that at least one Queen of the Skies will be in the air for a little bit longer.
> Read More: A Review of United’s Historic Final 747 Flight
image of N119UA: Bill Abbott / Flickr