Monday, September 8, 2014

Air New Zealand Farewells Its Last Jumbo

Air New Zealand's last jumbo jet, ZK-NBV, makes its final passenger flight this Wednesday.
The 16-year-old Boeing 747-400 flys Auckland-San Francisco and returns two days later.

1981: AirNZ's first jumbo lands
The plane was named in honour of Christchurch when it joined the fleet, and played a role in providing emergency transport for those wanting to leave the city, immediately following the 2011 earthquake.
The airline's first 747 arrived in mid-1981, and there've been 13 flown by AirNZ since. It has had to keep the planes longer than planned, because of delays to the arrival of the more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first of which has now joined the airline and is flying the trans-Tasman route.
While several airlines are keeping their jumbos - notably Lufthansa which is upgrading to the latest cargo-carrying version of the plane and KLM which still has 15 in its fleet - others are disposing of them in favour of lighter more efficient twin-engine aircraft.
ZK-NBV's sister, ZK-SUH (named for the southern city of Dunedin), retired from AirNZ's flight in July. The former Lord of The Rings jet was sold to new owners GE as a engine test jet.
Boeing produced more than 1500 jumbos, which revolutionised long-haul travel during the 1970s.
2014: ZK-NBV, seen at Auckland International Airport yesterday...

UPDATE: 12 Sept.2014 - Champagne for all on the final flight.

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