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QANTAS: Goodbye Jumbo official

QANTAS: Goodbye Jumbo official

Well it is official, we have seen the last of the Qantas 747 – Queen of the Sky.

My love/hate relationship with the Jumbo

I know I’m blaspheming when I say, I have never been that much of a fan, especially since we have seen the new crop of carbon fibre and other hybrid planes of the 21st Century. My love affair is with the A380 – which also seems destined in the not too distant future for the scrap heap.

However, it is a 747 (Thai Airways) that first took me from Australian shores, and a Qantas Jumbo on which I experienced my first international business class seat in the upper deck. I say seat, because this was before the birth of actual beds in business class.

the inside of a plane

Most recently, I and the husband travelled on a Qantas 747 – again in the upper deck to Santiago, Chile and back. I’m afraid they could just not compare with the comfort, seat, and service provided on LATM 787’s that we caught on trans continental flights.

Qantas 747 farewell events

Qantas still has its final Boeing 747 and will hold a series of 3, one-hour flights departing from Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney for Jumbo-fans to say goodbye to the aircraft. They claim to be running these flights in response to employee and customer requests, and given the 747 fanbase, that is probably true, and not just PR hyperbole.


The 747 Jumbo joined the Qantas fleet back in 1971and became the workhorse of international flying. Many Australians would have experienced their first international flight in one.

“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.”

Qantas 747 Fleet Captain Owen Weaver
a group of people sitting in a restaurant

Farewell flights on sale from midday Wednesday 8 July

The flights operate out of the three cities on the following dates:

  • Monday 13 July (Sydney)
  • Wednesday 15 July (Brisbane)
  • Friday 17 July (Canberra)

The one hour flights don’t come cheap either, but it is going to a good cause:

  • Economy $400
  • Business Class $747 (limited seats) but with additional extras included

Qantas maintains that ‘Seats will be limited to maximise passenger comfort (in line with other previously operated joy flights).’

Qantas is hoping these flights wil make a little profit once costs are covered which they intend to donate to the HARS Aviation Museum at Albion Park (Wollongong) and the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. Both museums have a Qantas 747 on public display – so you can still get your nostalgia fix even if you can’t make the flights.

Bye, bye

The last Qantas 747-400 will depart Sydney at around 2pm on 22 July 2020 coded as flight QF7474 and will be preceeded by a hangar farewell event for employees.

a group of people standing in a doorway of an airplane

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

If you’re a fan, then put your alarm on for Wednesday midday, and hope your fingers and NBN connection will allow you to be best-dressed and first-served, especially if you want some of those business seats. I would think that maybe the Canberra flight might have the lowest demand unless all those politicians and public servants are keen to re-live their 747 experiences.

For me, I think I’ll save my pennies for when international travel actually re-opens, and spend my money then.

Although . . .

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