(21 Mar 2021)
Aircraft no. B-18215, the last 747 delivered to China
Airlines by Boeing in April 2005, flew the carrier’s last
passenger-carrying flight on Saturday, as the Taiwan-based airline
retires the much-loved Queen of the Skies from service.
The special flight generated huge interest, and
within 5 minutes of going on sale all the tickets had been sold.
Check-in for CI-2747 began at 07:47 and was followed by an exclusive ground-side
itinerary at Gate D6, Terminal 2 of Taoyuan International Airport.
This included a tour of each cabin class aboard the 747 passenger
aircraft as well as a super-sized capsule vending machine for 747
peripherals. A one-of-a-kind 747 photo booth was also set up on
the day to fulfill the wishes of travelers kept from international
travel for so long.
flight departed from Taoyuan Airport at 11:30 and flew to
Japan, circling around Mt. Fuji before returning home. The flight
lasted around 5 hours and 40 minutes, and arrived back at Taoyuan
Airport at 17:10.
China Airlines prepared 747 surprise packs
stuffed with goodies for the passengers. These included a
commemorative flight certificate, a
limited-edition Farewell Party model aircraft, embossed face mask,
tail-fin keyring, canvas bag, flight safety pack, and navy blue
China Airlines amenities kit. Passengers also had the chance to
win exclusive gifts such as a Mt. Fuji glass and 747 liveried
First class services were recreated for this
micro-trip. Teriyaki eel rice and Grilled beef tenderloin with
port wine sauce for example were presented course by course in the
traditional manner. The classic Plum Blossom porcelain and vintage
Pol Roger champagne all served to highlight the 5-star experience
of First Class on the 747; Business Class was served with Kabayaki
eel rice in Shokato style and Roasted chicken with baked cheese
pasta; the Economy Class menu featured Sakura shrimp with fried
noodles and Chicken with Japanese fried egg.
For dessert, there
was 747 Queen of the Skies cupcakes and aircraft-shaped cookies
from a secret menu. Passengers were able to enjoy a variety of
different Japanese cuisine aboard the flight.
The first 747-400 in Asia was introduced by China
Airlines and the fleet has served to link Taiwan with North
America, Europe, and Australia for the past 30 years. During this
time, they carried nearly 100 million passengers and were the
mainstay of China Airlines’ high-capacity and long-range routes.
In 1993, China Airlines used the 747-400 to launch the Taipei (TPE
Airport) to New York (JFK Airport) service, the longest direct
route in the world at the time; the all-new Plum Blossom corporate
logo that China Airlines introduced in 1995 also made its first
appearance on the 747-400. It is the only aircraft to have
featured three generations of the corporate logo.
In 2003, it
carried out a Lunar New Year charter flight that passed through
Hong Kong airspace to land directly in China for the first time.
This was the first Taiwanese cross-strait flight to land at
Shanghai-Pudong airport in 54 years.
Travel Industry News,
Queen of the Skies.
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