Australian flag carrier Qantas has unveiled a programme of events to mark the retirement of its final Boeing 747.
The airline plans to operate three one-hour “farewell jumbo joy flights” departing from Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, to “allow Australians to opportunity to say goodbye to the much loved ‘Queen of the Skies’ ahead of its retirement”.
Owen Weaver, Qantas 747 fleet captain, commented: “The 747 has been a magnificent aircraft and it’s fitting that we celebrate the end of five decades of history-making moments for the national carrier and aviation in Australia.
“There is an enormous amount of nostalgia and affection associated with our 747 and for those who miss out on a seat on the flight, they will at least be able to catch a glimpse of the aircraft as it takes to Australian skies for the last time.”
The flights, which are due to go on sale on July 8 via Qantas’ website, will operate on July 13 (Sydney), July 15 (Brisbane) and July 17 (Canberra).
The carrier says economy fares will be priced at AU$400 (£222) with a select number of business class seats available for an appropriately priced $747 (£416).
The services will operate on a cost-recovery basis and the profits will be donated to the HARS Aviation Museum at Albion Park in Wollongong and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. The airline says the contributions will support the museums’ efforts to preserve and promote the 747 legacy for future generations. Both sites have an example in the carrier’s colours on public display.
The final 747-400 in the airline’s fleet, VH-OEJ (c/n 32914) will depart Sydney at approximately 2pm on July 22 as flight QF7474.
Prior to its final departure, Qantas plans to host a hangar farewell event for its employees.