After 45 years of gracing the sky for China Airlines, the Taiwanese airline has completed its final Boeing 747 flight…to nowhere.
Final China Airlines 747 Flight
Last autumn, I noted that China Airlines would retire its 747 passenger fleet in 2021. On March 20, 2021, the final China Airlines 747 passenger flight occurred, a 5-hour, 38-minute flight to nowhere.
The aircraft took off from Taipei Taoyuan International Airport at 11:30AM local time heading toward Japan. 350 passengers were onboard.
The aircraft then flew to Mount Fuji, circled it, and returned home.
This flight was particularly special because the 747 used was the final 747-400 passenger variant produced, delivered to China Airlines in 2005.
China Airlines joins a long list of carriers which have retired the 747-400 during the pandemic, including:
- British Airways
- Thai Airways
- Virgin Atlantic
If it is any consolation, you’ll still see China Airlines 747-400s at airports around the world: the carrier will continue to operate a fleet of 17 747-400F freighters.
China Airlines noted:
“China Airlines thanks the 747-400 passenger aircraft for its contributions to Taiwan and China Airlines, and hopes that every passenger will always remember the Queen of the Skies.”
Oh yes, we will.
China Airlines offers a superior onboard product on both its 777-300 and A350 aircraft, but there’s nothing like the Queen.
Great write up. For us aviation enthusiasts, the 747 will always remain in our fondest memories. I remember flying China Airlines 747 out of SFO years ago. The livery was always the most eye catching at the gate. Boarding this plane would fill me with the excitement of bustling Taiwanese night markets. I miss Asia a lot too now that I am writing this lol.
I wouldn’t typically point out typos, but it’s a proper noun in this case.
You have it written as Mt Fiji instead of Fuji.
Please feel free to delete this comment after reading it.
What a difference a vowel makes!
“China” airlines …. LOL
Google “Republic of China”
Still has not settled in yet that I may never fly on a 747-400 again. The quintessential plane that took me around the world for decades. I’ll never forget watching a formation of BA Queens on radar flying from LHR to Victorville last summer, banished to the desert, and wishing I had appreciated more that last time a few months before that I was on one.
It will be missed. China Airlines has developed into one of the very best airlines in Asia. During the ‘80s and ‘90s it was something of a Russian Roulette experience, but it has improved out of sight…
As nice as the 747-400 might have been to behold, does anyone actually think the in-flight experience on one recently would compare favorably to that on a newer aircraft?