China Airlines B747
China Airlines B747

China Airlines Retires Their Last B747-400

A “Farewell My Queen” send-off party was held by China Airlines on 12th April in Taipei Taoyuan Airport, as the last China Airlines B747-400 was retired.

As reported by Asian Aviation, the “Farewell My Queen” event started with a documentary on the last passenger-carrying flight of the 747-400. Cabin crew also wore classic China Airlines uniforms from different eras, as a tribute to the enduring legacy of this great aircraft.

The chairman of China Airlines, Su-chien Hsieh, and other top executives, along with a hundred Dynasty members and retired employees, were on hand to pay their respects to the Queen of the Skies and witness the retirement of the 747-400 from the China Airlines fleet.

Hsieh said that the 747-400 has provided an exemplary flying experience to the carrier’s passengers over the last 30 years. The past year has been a very trying period with the COVID-19 pandemic, so the carrier has been focused on improving its overall operational efficiency.

A gallery of old 747-400 photos was also set up by China Airlines. Ya-ling Chen, a senior cabin crew instructor, served as the guide and said that the 747-400 carried many people overseas during Taiwan’s “Economic Miracle”. To many of her colleagues their memories of transoceanic routes were inextricably interwoven with the 747. The First Class cabin attendant training, unique to the 747, that she underwent was a high honour that many cabin attendants aspired to. Chen was therefore very grateful to the 747-400 for this crowning moment of her career.

Farewell Flight Performed Earlier

747 Queen of the Skies Farewell Party” one-day micro-trip was flown by China Airlines on 20th March. All tickets were sold within 5 minutes of going on sale.

The farewell flight CI2747 was flown by registration B-18215, the last 747-400 delivered by Boeing in April 2005.

More than 350 passengers gathered for the send off of the Queen of the Skies. The flight departed from Taoyuan Airport at 11:30 and flew to Japan, circling around Mt. Fuji before returning. The flight lasted around 5 hours and 40 minutes before arriving back at Taoyuan Airport at 17:10.

a plane on the runway

The first 747-400 in Asia was introduced by China Airlines and the fleet has served to link Taiwan with North America, Europe and Australia for the past 30 years. During this time they carried nearly 100 million passengers and were the mainstay of China Airlines’ high-capacity and long-range routes. In 1993 China Airlines used the 747-400 to launch the Taipei to New York JFK service, the longest direct route in the world at the time.

In 2003 it carried out a Lunar New Year charter flight, which passed through Hong Kong airspace to land directly in China for the first time. This was the first Taiwanese cross-strait flight to land at Shanghai-Pudong airport in 54 years.