Designed in the 1960s, the Boeing 747 entered service in 1970 with Pan Am. It was dubbed the “Queen of the Skies,” and even today, many people still consider this title to hold true. It is one of the most recognizable aircrafts, and I am a little sad to see more and more airlines retiring it from service.
After having them in their fleet for 37 years, Cathay Pacific is the latest airline to retire their 747 from passenger service. A born and raised Hong Konger, this is especially sentimental to me; the Cathay Pacific 747 was the first plane I’ve ever flown on. When Hong Kong moved its airport in 1997, the Cathay 747 was the last to depart the old Kai Tak airport, and the first to arrive at the new Chek Lap Kok location.
The final flights will take passengers from Hong Kong to Tokyo-Haneda and back.
- September 30: CX 542, Hong Kong to Haneda, 4:25 pm to 9:35 pm
- October 1: CX 543, Haneda to Hong Kong, 10:35 am to 2:10 pm
The flight from Hong Kong to Haneda still has a few Business Class seats left, as well as a good number of Economy seats. On the other hand, there is no availability in premium cabins for the final flight from Haneda to Hong Kong, as I’m sure the company is saving them for executives and important guests. However, there are still plenty of seats available in Economy for booking.
While the 747 will retire from passenger service, there will actually still be 747s in Cathay Pacific’s cargo fleet. Cathay Pacific is the 4th largest cargo airline by weight of freight carried, behind FedEx, Emirates, and UPS.