KLM farewell flight
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated its last commercial B747-400 flight from Mexico City to Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport. At the time of retirement KLM operated a total of 10 B747s of which three of them are in KLM cargo colours. It was initially suppose to retire its B747s in 2021 May but has retired them a year before due to the impact of coronavirus which has led to cancellation and grounding of flights. You can get more information on the post related to retirement of KLM 747.
The last scheduled flight to be operated by KLM was from Mexico City to Amsterdam as KL686. The aircraft used was a B747-400M registered as PH-BFT named ‘City of Tokyo’. The aircraft is a ‘Combi’ version of the 747 which means its meant to carry both Cargo as well as passengers. It has a huge cargo transport deck in it. This aircraft was delivered to it in May’97 and has been in service with KLM for 22 years.
The flight was scheduled to depart Mexico City at 21:05 and departed at 21:42. Its initial flight level was FL310 and climbed to FL330-FL350-FL370 and finally FL390. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Schiphol at 15:20. It flew around Schiphol while descending and used runway 36C to touchdown at 15:32 local time.
Footage of the final KLM flight from Mexico City
NH Airtime had captured the arrival of the final flight of KLM B747-400 from Mexico City. Click the video below to see its final landing in KLM colours.
Exclusive pictures of KLM taken in the past
As a tribute to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines here is a take off sequence of KLM B747-400M registered as PH-BFW off to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport from Hong Kong as KL888.
End of road for Royal Dutch B747
With KLM retiring their B747s it adds to the list of airlines retiring their B747 aircrafts. Qantas have also retired their B747 aircrafts today which leaves only a handful of airlines operating these wide bodies which have been a pioneer of long haul travel. KLM still do have three more B747s operating but in KLM cargo colours. Other than KLM and Qantas there are only a handful of airlines operating the B747 such as Air India, Korean Air, British Airways, Lufthansa. But with the current crisis looming in it definitely seems like the clock is running twice as fast for these legendary birds.
KLM is the next line to retire their B747. For the world’s oldest airline which has been associated with these 4 engine aircraft for such a long time mounting to close to 50 years, its hard to imagine them without a fleet of 747 but that’s when reality checks in.