ELAL Retires Final Boeing 747

The final ELAL Boeing 747 flight has taken place today.

Positioning from Rome back to the airlines home base in Tel Aviv, this brings the types 48 year history with the airline to a close.

To commemorate the occasion, the flight “drew” a 747 in the sky.

ELAL has been in a phase of modernising its fleet since the airline took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in August 2017. With twelve of the type now in service, it now forms the backbone of their long haul fleet.

The airline operates an all Boeing fleet with six 777 aircraft also in service, along side 23 737’s for shorter missions.

The ELAL Boeing 747 was once a common sight at London Heathrow, however the Boeing 787 has long since taken over the route.

ELAL Boeing 787
ELAL Boeing 787 Dreamliner seen at Heathrow, October 2019

Another Airline Brings Its 747 Operations To A Close

With the ELAL retirement, this is yet another airline which has stopped flying the type. As of October 2019, there were still over 500 of the type in active service. However, with over 1500 produced, the type is becoming increasingly rare. The largest operator of the type is Atlas Air with 39 in service. The best chance of flying on one as a passenger will be with British Airways. The airline still have 33 of the 151 still in passenger operation in their fleet. However, they are winding down operations of the type and they will be gone in the next few years.

Other major passenger operators of the 747 include Lufthansa (13), KLM (10), Rossiya (9), Virgin Atlantic (8), Thai (8) and Qantas (6).

Boeing updated the 747 in 2012, however the type didn’t sell anywhere near as well as expected and there are currently only 42 in service with Lufthansa (19), Korean Air (10), and Air China (7).

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