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Friday, November 27, 2020

Qantas’s last Boeing 747 draws airline’s iconic logo in the sky during final flight

The plane bound for retirement in the Mojave Desert made the special sign for one last time before leaving Australian airspace. The pilots traced the shape of the company's logo in the flight path before the jet continued on its final journey.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 23, 2020 12:12:15 pm
qantas, qantas 747 farewell, qantas 747 flight farewell tribute, Final Qantas 747 kangaroo sign, qantas plane draws kangaroo on sky, viral news, australia news, indian express, The final Qantas 747 flight left from Sydney for Los Angeles. (Source: Flightradar/Twitter, Reuters)

Australia’s national airline Qantas bid farewell to the last Boeing 747-400 aircraft in its fleet, and to mark the occasion, the aircraft was used to carve a special message in the sky with its flight path. After taking off from the Sydney Airport for Los Angeles, the airline’s pilot charted a flight path to draw the company’s iconic kangaroo symbol in the sky.

The plane, that is bound for retirement in the Mojave Desert, drew the special sign before leaving Australian airspace.

“The final 747-400 in the fleet (registration VH-OEJ) will depart Sydney at 2pm as flight number QF7474, bringing to an end five decades of history-making moments for the national carrier and aviation in Australia,” the company said in a statement.

The airline’s 747s were first brought into operation in Australia in August 1971, the same year that William McMahon became Prime Minister, the first McDonalds opened in Australia and Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool topped the music charts, the company said in a statement.

“Its arrival – and its economics – made international travel possible for millions of people for the first time,” the company said.

Watch the special tribute here:

The national carrier advanced the scheduled retirement of its jumbo jets by six months after the Covid-19 pandemic hit international travel.

After nearly 50 years of service, the plane received a water cannon salute, before taking off to a big round of the applause from onlookers and aviation enthusiasts.

Qantas’s first woman Captain, Sharelle Quinn, who is in command of the final flight with a full cargo-load of freight said that the aircraft has a very special place in the hearts of the Qantas staff, aviation enthusiasts and travellers.

“I have flown this aircraft for 36 years and it has been an absolute privilege. From the Pope to pop stars, our 747’s have carried over 250 million people safely to their destinations. Over the decades, it’s also swooped in on a number of occasions to save Aussies stranded far from home,” she said.

People on social media tracked the special flight’s final journey and many used #QF7474 to bid farewell to the aircraft.

In 1974, the 747s were used to rescue 674 people from the destruction caused by Cyclone Tracy in Darwin, while in 2011 they helped evacuate Australians from political unrest in Cairo, Egypt. In 2004, the aircraft was used to fly medical supplies following the tsunami in Asia.

The fleet’s last-ever rescue mission was to bring hundreds of Australians home during the coronavirus pandemic from the  first epicentre of the virus, Wuhan in China, earlier this year.

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