SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Qantas airlines’ first Boeing 747-400, celebrated for having flown the longest commercial flight in history from London to Sydney, made its shortest and final journey on March 8, 2015, when it flew from Sydney to Illawarra Regional Airport in New South Wales.
After less than 15 minutes in flight, Qantas B747 (VH-OJA) touched down at 7:47 am and was delivered to its new home with the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) where it will become the only B747-400 in the world to be put on public display.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said donating the aircraft to the HARS museum will provide not only a great tourist attraction, but also an opportunity to preserve an important piece of Qantas and aviation history.
“Our B747-400 ‘City of Canberra’ is very deserving of a graceful retirement as the star attraction at one of Australia’s most prestigious aviation museums,” said Joyce.
Over the past few years, Qantas has been gradually retiring its older B747s. Nine of its newest jumbos, the last of which was delivered in 2003, have been refurbished and will continue flying into the future. Since 2008, the Qantas Group has taken delivery of almost 150 new aircraft, lowering its fleet age to an average of just over seven years.
The Qantas B747 will join an impressive lineup of famed aircraft located at the HARS museum, including a Lockheed Super Constellation, Catalina, Douglas DC3 and DC4, and a Desert Storm U.S. Army Cobra helicopter. At press time, the official handover was to take place on March 15, 2015 to coincide with the museum’s monthly open day weekend.