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Philippine Airlines: Good Bye 747!

Aviation Updates Philippines - The Philippines' national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, will be retiring the last Boeing 747-400 after operating its final commercial flight to San Francisco on August 30. The Queen of the Skies, as fondly called by aviation enthusiasts, served passengers across the Pacific Ocean for over 35 years. The 747 was a true workhorse for Philippine Airlines while it operated short-haul to long-haul flights throughout its lifespan.

Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400
Good bye 747! Thank you for everything!
(PHOTO) Lester Tangco - PPSG

When flight PR 105, the last commercial flight of the Boeing 747, lands back at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on September 1, the said flight will be given a water-canon salute in honor of the Queen. After the last of the 747s retire, Philippine Airlines will then switch to the more efficient Boeing 777-300ER for US operations.

To celebrate the last commercial flight of the Boeing 747, registered as RP-C7473, Philippine Airlines set up a photo booth near the boarding gate for passengers to take their last photo with the quad-jet. The carrier uploaded these photos on their Facebook page.

(PHOTO) Philippine Airlines

As Philippine Airlines retires its Boeing 747-400 fleet, it will pass the crown to the Boeing 777-300ER to become its new flagship. The retirement of the 747s was a practical move for the national flag carrier in a bid to take advantage of fuel savings brought by newer, fuel-efficient planes.

Philippine Airlines' new flagship, the Boeing 777-300ER, was delivered in 2009. The airline originally ordered the planes for flights to the United States, but the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 in 2008, which forced Philippine Airlines to redeploy them to Canada and Australia.

The flag carrier, in a statement, remarked that it plans to increase the deployment of Boeing 777-300ER to San Francisco from two weekly to daily flights in the next few weeks. Philippine Airlines commented it ordered the Boeing 777s aircraft back in 2006, with the hopes of reducing fuel and maintenance costs, particularly for transpacific routes.

In the 1970s, Philippine Airlines envisioned to be one of the best in the Southeast Asia. To achieve that, PAL ordered four Boeing 747-200B to be used for transpacific flights to the US. At that era, the first skybeds on the upper-deck were introduced. The first jumbo jet arrived in December 1979, which took-over the transpacific routes previously operated by the DC-10 on January 4, 1980. After three months, the jumbo jets were utilized in all of its US flights.