On March 29, 2020, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight KL686 from Mexico City (Mexico) to Amsterdam (the Netherlands) is going to be bittersweet, as it will be the last time a Boeing 747 operates passenger service on behalf of the oldest airline in the world. 

Having welcomed the first Boeing 747s (-200s back then) in 1971, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines had planned to retire the iconic aircraft on its 50th service anniversary ‒ in 2021. Then came the Corona Crisis. As travel demand took a dive down and the ever-growing number of countries are closing their borders, the Dutch airline is sending the Boeing 747 into early retirement. 

Celebrating the oldest airline's 100th anniversary, we take a look back at KLM's aircraft liveries over the years:

On March 28, 2020, the airline’s last remaining Boeing 747-400s will embark on their last journeys. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight KL686 is scheduled to take off from Mexico City (MEX) at 21:05 on March 28 and arrive at Schiphol Airport (AMS) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at 15:20 the following day, officially marking the airline’s last Boeing 747 flight. 

The last flight is going to be operated by a Boeing 747-400 registered as PH-BFW, according to reports in Dutch media. The 19.5 years’ old aircraft was delivered to the airline in October 2000 and carries the name “City of Shanghai”. At the moment, KLM has 10 Jumbo Jets remaining in its fleet.

More about KLM’s unique aircraft naming policy read here:

No two aircraft are alike, and while every carrier can showcase this fact by slapping a registration number on the aircraft and recording the airplane’s manufacturing number, some take it a tad bit further.