Image
Top
Navigation
July 15, 2016

Review: Farewell Iran Air B747-SP Tehran to Mumbai

Iran Air B747-SP Tehran to Mumbai

April 1, 2016

Iran Air Flight IR810

B747-SP-86, EP-IAC

This was the last Boeing 747-SP in service in commercial airlines in the world.

This was my last time flying the Iran Air B747-SP.

This was my best B747-SP flight out of 10 flights I've flown!

She has been discontinued from service since mid June this year which is extremely disappointing as the Iranian Civil Aviation Orgranisation did not grant any extension sought by Iran Air. As a result of her discontinuation, Iran Air has temporarily suspended flight to the Far East (Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Mumbai) until they have received replacement airplanes.

I arrived Tehran IKA airport at 3am from Abu Dhabi on an Etihad A320 flight. My plan is to transit Tehran and flying onward to Mumbai in India.

Without an Iranian visa, I was in this small transit area for 2 hours before the agent can issue me a new boarding pass.

You do NOT need a transit visa or anything to transit in Tehran IKA.

Tehran IKA Transit Area

Tehran IKA Transit Area

 

The flight IR810 depart Tehran to Mumbai at 7:35am, boarding was called 30 minutes prior to departure time.

Iran Air IR810 to Mumbai Boarding

Iran Air IR810 to Mumbai Boarding

 

Passengers at boarding gate.

Iran Air IR810 to Mumbai Boarding

Iran Air IR810 to Mumbai Boarding

 

Here she is, always a lovely sight. Minutes before I board my last Boeing 747-SP flight!

Iran Air IR810 B747-SP to Mumbai Boarding

Iran Air IR810 B747-SP to Mumbai Boarding

 
Iran Air IR810 B747-SP to Mumbai Boarding

Iran Air IR810 B747-SP to Mumbai Boarding

 

We have a light load about 160 passengers so I have the whole rear section to me. A very friendly Iran Air flight attendant Nasr joined me for this souvenir photo!

Iran Air B747-SP interior

Iran Air B747-SP interior

 

Minutes later, Nasr came back and took me to the cockpit and showed me my new seat of the flight!!!

Today's flight is flown by Senior Captain Mehrabi and Captain Karimien, assisted by F/E Mr Sajidi.

We pushed back a few minutes early and flight time to Mumbai is just over 3 hours with some favorable tailwind.

Iran Air B747-SP cockpit

Iran Air B747-SP cockpit

Lining up on Runway 29L for departure after a short taxi.

Iran Air B747-SP line up for takeoff

Iran Air B747-SP line up for takeoff

 

Video of takeoff

 

As we are quite light, our B747-SP climbed directly to FL370 in one go!

Iran-Air-B747SP-36  
Iran Air B747-SP cockpit

Iran Air B747-SP cockpit

 
Iran Air B747-SP cockpit

Iran Air B747-SP cockpit

 

I was rather privileged to have my breakfast in the cockpit behind the pilots.

Iran-Air-B747SP-43

Iran-Air-B747SP-42  

My breakfast consisted of very good scramble eggs (very runny) bread and fruit.

Iran Air Economy Class breakfast

Iran Air Economy Class breakfast

Captain Karimien remembered me from a previous flight together in 2012, showing me the photo I took of him on his cell phone!

Iran-Air-B747SP-46

Iran-Air-B747SP-47

Iran-Air-B747SP-49

As many of you would know, the B747-SP fly faster and cruise higher than most conventional airliner.

We're cruising around Mach 0.86-0.87 during this flight.

Iran-Air-B747SP-6   Iran-Air-B747SP-10  
B747-SP Engine throttles

B747-SP Engine throttles

 

After about half way into the flight, I went downstairs to the main cabin and observed her beautiful wing.

This photo is taken from the long galley between Door 1R and 2R.

We're flying over the Balochistan in Pakistani airspace at FL410.

Iran Air B747-SP Wing view

Iran Air B747-SP Wing view

 

With the lovely Iran Air crew, Nia.

Iran Air flight attendant

Iran Air flight attendant

With Nia and Nasr in the long galley of Boeing 747-SP.

Iran Air flight attendant

Iran Air flight attendant

Then I went to the main cabin to have a look. Most passengers were sleeping.

Iran Air B747-SP Main Cabin

Iran Air B747-SP Main Cabin

You must have noticed how wide the cabin is on the B747-SP!

Iran Air B747-SP Main Cabin

Iran Air B747-SP Main Cabin

The rear wing view.

Iran-Air-B747SP-22  

The rear galley of Boeing 747-SP.

Iran Air B747-SP Rear Galley

Iran Air B747-SP Rear Galley

 

After a tour of the plane, I moved to the nose area which is Homa Class (Iran Air's Business Class).

Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class

Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class

 

Flight attendant Nia and Nasr saw me sitting down for a while and brought this full tray of food to me!

As a guest to Iran Air, they made sure you're well fed onboard!

Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class Breakfast

Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class Breakfast

 
Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class Breakfast

Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class Breakfast

 

Myself in the so called "Throne" middle seat.Iran-Air-B747SP-25

 
Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class Breakfast

Iran Air B747-SP Homa Class Breakfast

 

After the hearty breakfast, we've started our descend for Mumbai. I went back upstairs and joined the pilots once again.

We were landing on the main runway of Mumbai at Runway 27. It was a smooth landing but little did I know that would be my last B747-SP landing.....I thought I would have more....

Iran-Air-B747SP-55  

After landing, a final farewell picture together with the cockpit crew.

Iran-Air-B747SP-57  

I went downstairs and before deplane, had a photo together with all the crew. It was such a great moment!

Farewell Iran Air B747-SP!

Farewell Iran Air B747-SP!

 
Farewell Iran Air B747-SP!

Farewell Iran Air B747-SP!

 
Farewell Iran Air B747-SP!

Farewell Iran Air B747-SP!

 

Conclusion

I can't express how much I have enjoyed flying on their B747 classics again and again!

It was such an exciting 3 hours flight. I was everywhere, from the back to the front, from the cockpit to the galley....Deep inside myself, I knew I was such an Aviation Geek. I love classics and get very excited flying classics, meeting different people and going exotic places!

Iranians are among the warmest people we have met and the kindest and most resourceful ones too. They don't have much but they gave me their best. Once they understood my passion, they were able to offer me the warmest welcome from their heart. Iran Air does exactly that to win my heart!

I am definitely saddened that this was probably my last B747-SP commercial flight....

SP Never Die?

There is a group of Iranian aviation enthusiasts trying to charter the last B747-SP, EP-IAC on 15 November 2016 for a true last farewell flight from Tehran to Tehran in the similar fashion of the 2014 sightseeing flight. This event (Not confirmed yet) is schedule to take place on 15 November 2016  during my upcoming Iran Aviation Tour. I will keep you updated on the progress of this.

Let's hope there will be a one last farewell flight on 15 November 2016!

Trip Video

 

As usual, I really appreciate any comments and feedback. Please share with me your B747-SP flight experiences by reply to the post below!

Comments

  1. Joey

    Sam, thank you so much for sharing your experience!!! I have enjoyed reading your experiences on here and this flight looked amazing!

  2. Kyle

    It’s so endearing to read this trip report! Like you said, passion and kindness are the most important in service. Even without a world leading product, I would have loved the flight as well. Great story and keep traveling Sam!

    • Sam Chui

      thanks for your comments Kyle!

  3. Ralph Mueller

    Dear Sam.

    Inheriting every page since I do receive your newsletter for the 1st time a few weeks ago (thank you very much indeed therefor!), fond memories came back to me, because my one and only 747SP flight was on IRAN AIR’s 747SP EP-IAB from LHR to JFK on July 1st, 1976.
    EP-IAB was brand new then (I think she was delivered to IR during May 1976), and it was one of the most remarkable flights of my life ever.
    Im am “vintage” 1953 and did not fly much then, so travelling in an exotic plane like the rare 747SP and wondering if maybe the Shah of Iran was already on board of the same plane a short while before me was really thrilling.
    Iran Air Ticket, Boarding Pass, and other souvenirs from this flight are still around – somewhere in the attic, because in the passed 40 years I changed appartment three times…

    Well, it was most mouthwatering to be onboard of the sightseeing IR 747SP flight in November 2014, but every bank in my reach here in Switzerland did not see any possibility to make the necessary payment to the Iranian (if I remember correctly) travel agency for this adventure.

    So now, as you are writing about another 747SP farewell flight THR-THR fot this autumn, I fear that my attendance could again be prevented by the hurdles for payment.

    I would highly appreciate occasionally any information from you or your team about this payment difficulty topic 🙂

    Thank you for taking time reading my words about a commercial aviation marvel like the 747SP.

    Best regards from
    Ralph

    • Sam Chui

      thanks for sharing with me your incredible story on Iran Air SP 40 years ago!

  4. Jeff Dhedouville

    Did Iran Air ever fly to the USA? If so where did they fly too?

    • Tim Gibson

      Yes they did fly to the USA in the 1980’s for sure as I sub loaded JFK to Paris on them several times. Both B747-200 and B747SP were used.
      I remember many of the cabin crew were Irish !

Submit a Comment