Singapore Airlines is set to take its last passenger B747 jumbos out of service next month, but will operate a special commemorative flight between Singapore and Hong Kong on April 6.
At one stage SIA had a total of 51 B747-400 aircraft in its fleet (a mixture of passenger and freighter versions). But deliveries of new aircraft including the Airbus A380 have led to the iconic jumbo gradually being retired, and by 2010 the carrier was operating more superjumbos than B747s (see online news May 11, 2010).
The aircraft will be retired from the SIA fleet altogether next month, with the last regular commercial service taking place between Singapore and Melbourne on March 25.
The carrier will then operate one final commemorative flight on April 6, with the jumbo flying between Singapore and Hong Kong on specially designated flights SQ747 and SQ748.
Employees, media and a group of under privileged children will be on board the flight, along with 300 paying customers, with tickets now on sale at siajourneys.com. The website also contains stats, historical photographs and video footage relating to the B747 jumbo.
The flight time will be extended by one hour, “to enable those on board to be treated to a unique inflight experience”, including “specially crafted meal services and inflight entertainment”, and limited edition B747 memorabilia for passengers. In addition first class customers will be given a tour of the carrier’s crew training facilities and B747-400 flight simulator.
SIA took delivery of its first B747-200 aircraft in 1973, with the first B747-400 entering the fleet in 1989.
Report by Mark Caswell