KLM, the Dutch national carrier and the oldest airline in the world, announced they are going to bid farewell to their long-serving Boeing 747 fleet in late October 2020.
Retirement was originally scheduled for 2021, on 747’s 50th anniversary with the airline. But the new coronavirus crisis forced the Dutch to rethink their plans and conduct final passenger flights in March 2020, officially phasing out the plane for the first time.
In an unexpected twist of fate the Queen of the skies was recalled from its retirement in August to conduct air bridge operations between the Netherlands and China, carrying medical equipment and supplies. Six 747-400s, three freighters and three combi aircraft with both passenger and cargo decks are currently carrying out regular flights to Beijing and Shanghai.
As the demand from the government for medical supplies decreases, the last flights are scheduled for late October, after which all KLM’s 747s will be decommissioned, Nu.nl reports.
The news came just as Australia’s Qantas performed the farewell flight with their Boeing 747 and a few days after British Airways suddenly retired theirs.