El Al Final 747 Flight Gives the Queen of the Skies a Unique Sendoff

By Anna Breuer on 3 November 2019
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El Al operated its final Boeing 747 flight on Sunday.  The flight, which departed Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport Sunday morning for Tel Aviv, carried the flight number LY1747 in recognition of the event.

The flight took a small detour southwest of Cyprus to draw the outline of a Boeing 747 in its flight path, which added an hour to the overall flight time but gave the passengers on board the opportunity to have participated in a once-in -a-lifetime activity as such flight-path drawings are typically only made during test flights, not flights with revenue passengers on board.

Boeing introduced the familiar Jumbo Jet with launch customer Pan Am 50 years ago in January 1970. Since then, over 1,500 747s have graced the skies.  At the time of its introduction and until the debut of the Airbus A380 with launch customer Emirates in 2007, the 747 was the largest and roomiest airliner in the world.

While most 747 operators today are cargo airlines, British Airways and Lufthansa are two of the three largest operators of the type in the world.  Both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines – the last two U.S. operators of the 747 – retired their last 747s at the end of 2017.

Over the years, El Al operated Boeing 747-100s, 200s, 300s, and 400s as well as 400F, the freighter variant.   The 747s, which at the end flew largely between New York and Tel Aviv, are being replaced by more fuel efficient planes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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