SIA to commemorate B747 retirement

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 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.

For more information visit,

Report by Mark Caswell

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  • TominScotland

    This report really takes me back. I had my first ride on a Megatop (747-400) during the initial role out on the Hong Kong Kai Tak – Singapore route in 1989 and, wow!!, the excitement at the time. I guess all launches are special but this one really sticks in my memory.

  • Swissdiver

    SIA seems to do everything to discourage travellers to avoid flying with them. B747s retirement is just another reason to avoid SIA…

  • philduck

    First flew SIA on LHR-SIn route on the Boeing747-200 in July 1979. Then a great experience. Have flown many times with the airline since 2000 but the first experience was the best. I prefer the B747-400 and the B777 to the new A380s for passenger comfort.

  • LoungeLizard

    Sad. Perhaps I’m just a travel dinosaur, but I still prefer the 747-400. I’d even take the old BA 747-100 with curving stairs (aside from now-dodgy knees). SIA’s 400’s were better than most, and a terrific quiet sleep, but the BA 400’s on the SIN-LHR run were also good experiences.

  • salguod

    As a frequent traveller on long haul routes, I am delighted that SQ has finally decided to retire its fleet of 744s. IMHO, the A380 is far superior in terms of noise suppression, comfort and spaciousness…. I used to avoid the SIN-FRA route on SQ26 but now that the route is flown by the A380, I look forward to flying that route.


    It seems that the whole feel of intercontinental travel has changed now that more and more airlines retire there 747’s. Knowmatter where in the world you were, no aircraft has ever stood out the way the 747 has. It screamed “long haul” like no other aircraft has. The 380’s are a long way off production and order wise before being able to take the place of the Boeing.

    I certainly hope the new 747-800 becomes more of a success, although my hopes are set a little high. I just came back from Asia last week and still went out of my way to fly 747’s both ways across the Pacific (Asiana and United). The 777 is more state of the art and has the latest seats and IVOD in F and C but nothing beats that feeling of power and safety as those 4 massive engines take you across the Ocean.

  • Dolphin500

    For those who are saying that the A380 is more spacious than the B747…remember that the space is accommodated to the airlines demand and a B747 is different within airlines. Also, designs and colors, and seats used in the interior create a better sense of space. Legroom in a China Southern Airlines will be different from the A380 of Lufthansa or Qantas.

    It’s a shame that SQ is not replacing them for the new version B747-800 hopefully they will not regret this change!!! People should have more respect to the company who created the original term of “Jumbo Jet”. Have you ever seen the new B747-800?? It’s just amazing!!! Lufthansa already have it… it will be in some routes soon!! Maybe SQ will change their mind further down the road.