Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific is set to retire its final passenger-carrying Boeing 747 this weekend, bringing to an end a 37-year chapter in the airline’s history.
The ‘Jumbo’ was vital to Cathay’s development into a major global carrier and the carrier received its first example in 1979. A year later a second arrived and Cathay began flying to/from London’s Gatwick Airport for the first time.
The airline’s final 747 will take place on October 1 when one of the remaining jets flies to Tokyo and back from Hong Kong International Airport (operating route CX 543).
Cathay Pacific will continue to fly the jets in its cargo fleet, but it has decided not to adopt the new generation 747-8 (illustrated) for passengers. Instead, it plans to offer passengers greater flexibility by operating more direct flights with its fleet of smaller Boeing 777s and Airbus A350s.
Cathay Pacific operated some 70 Boeing 747s over 37 years.