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KLM Boeing 747 Retirement Thread


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KLM has announced that it will retiring it's last remaining seven Boeing 747-400s by the end of March 2020 due to the Covid-19 Crisis as a cost-saving measure. The last of these planes were supposed to last until January 2021. The final day for these planes will be March 26. These birds will be missed! Though, KLM continues to operate 3 747-400F (Cargo) operated by Martinair. It's unsure if those aircraft are due for retirement later in March as well. 

 

https://simpleflying.com/klm-early-boeing-747-retirement/

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-havoc-forces-airlines-to-retire-iconic-planes-sooner-2020-3

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So many memories, so many flights flying their B747-300 Combis between YVR-YYC-AMS.  One flight, they ended up putting a helicopter in the back when we stopped in YYC.  No more Fokkers, no more MD11s and now, no more 747s.  So sad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The last KLM 747 combi flight (presumably)to Toronto is happening right now PH-BFT is flying KLM flight 691 from Amsterdam to Toronto. The final 747-400 flight will be tomorrow (March 27th) with a regular 747-400 registered as PH-BFN which will land at Pearson scheduled for 4:35PM EDT. But Flightradar is showing the 747 in the schedule until at least April 1st.

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On 3/26/2020 at 10:23 AM, John Oke said:

The last KLM 747 combi flight (presumably)to Toronto is happening right now PH-BFT is flying KLM flight 691 from Amsterdam to Toronto. The final 747-400 flight will be tomorrow (March 27th) with a regular 747-400 registered as PH-BFN which will land at Pearson scheduled for 4:35PM EDT. But Flightradar is showing the 747 in the schedule until at least April 1st.

PH-BFT is coming back tomorrow as well as an Unknown 777-200ER (flight cancelled) so this is not the last 747M Combi ever

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From what I've heard, the final KLM 747 flight recently landed at AMS. End of an era for sure. Qantas' last 747 flight landed last night in SYD, so within a few hours of KLM. Sad to see two iconic airline/aircraft combinations go at the same time.

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On 3/27/2020 at 5:39 PM, John Oke said:

It looks like there’s another 747 flight on April 4th and KLM will be the first 787-10 operator to YYZ with a flight Scheduled with it on April 3rd

The flight levels have gone down to three flights between Amsterdam (AMS) and Toronto (YYZ)

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  • 2 weeks later...

KLM has announced that 2 of its Boeing 747 Combi's will temporarily take to the sky again to haul cargo. They tweeted about it this morning.

Quote: "We join hands with @philips and the Dutch government to create a special cargo air bridge between the Netherlands and China to transport essential medical supplies. Because of the major shortage of cargo capacity, two Boeing 747 Combi’s will temporarily take to the sky again."

 

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On 3/31/2020 at 10:33 PM, Greatcoinz said:

Final flight was KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam on March 29 with the registration PH-BFT. 

 

On 4/9/2020 at 2:32 PM, OC Transpo Route 95 said:

KLM has announced that 2 of its Boeing 747 Combi's will temporarily take to the sky again to haul cargo. They tweeted about it this morning.

Quote: "We join hands with @philips and the Dutch government to create a special cargo air bridge between the Netherlands and China to transport essential medical supplies. Because of the major shortage of cargo capacity, two Boeing 747 Combi’s will temporarily take to the sky again."

 

UPDATE: PH-BFT was the first of KLM’s 747 Combis to fly KLM's new special cargo flights.

PH-BFT flew as flight KL897 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Seoul (ICN). It left AMS yesterday, April 14.

 

More info on the special flights: https://news.klm.com/klm-and-philips-establish-special-cargo-air-bridge-between-amsterdam-and-china/

 

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Nice to hear that they are utilizing some of the retired 747s for good use! Glad that a few of these iconic birds still have plenty of life in them and have not seen there last passenger. I highly doubt they'll get converted to freighters after but you never know!

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A Further Update:

PH-BFW is the second of KLM’s two 747 Combis that are re-entering service to fly KLM's new special cargo flights.

PH-BFW is flying as flight KL897 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Beijing (PEK). It left AMS today, April 15.

 

 

On 4/15/2020 at 1:46 PM, Greatcoinz said:

Nice to hear that they are utilizing some of the retired 747s for good use! Glad that a few of these iconic birds still have plenty of life in them and have not seen there last passenger. I highly doubt they'll get converted to freighters after but you never know!

Yup, lovely to see them getting a life extension, especially with the current heightened demand for cargo flights. The Combis still have lots of life in them, and even though they won't see any passengers apart from the flight crews going forwards, they will have their work cut out for them hauling cargo in between the Netherlands and China and vice versa for the foreseeable future.

Whether KLM decides to keep them, who knows. As you mentioned, each Combi could find a second life after being converted into a Boeing Converted Freighter/Special Freighter (BCF) or a BeDek Special Freighter (BDSF). Both of which have no nose cargo door, only a side cargo door (like what the current Combis have, one side cargo door for access to the aft main deck cargo hold).

It also probably will partly depend on what Martinair decides to do, as KLM's three Boeing 747-400 Freighters (PH-CKA, PH-CKB, PH-CKC) are owned by KLM, but operated by Martinair/Martinair Holland. Martinair also operates KLM's scheduled cargo flights that use the three Boeing 747-400F's.

 

It is clear that air cargo space is in high demand now, as parcels need to get shipped to people quickly and medical supplies need to get around the world ASAP, for example.

Aviation has already drastically changed with the current situation. Airlines like Air Canada, United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Air France, KLM, and many others are using passenger aircraft (usually widebodies) on cargo-only flights. Perhaps after COVID-19 is over, we could see passenger airlines, such as KLM, focus more on their cargo operations, as COVID-19 has shown the clear need for cargo flights. Possibly, some airlines may add or bring back dedicated cargo aircraft/freighters back into their fleets, or expand their cargo operations. But, whether that happens or not remains to be seen, as no one really knows what aviation will look like after COVID-19. We will see what happens.

 

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On 4/15/2020 at 6:52 AM, OC Transpo Route 95 said:

UPDATE: PH-BFT was the first of KLM’s 747 Combis to fly KLM's new special cargo flights.

PH-BFT flew as flight KL897 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Seoul (ICN). It left AMS yesterday, April 14.

 

More info on the special flights: https://news.klm.com/klm-and-philips-establish-special-cargo-air-bridge-between-amsterdam-and-china/

 

On 4/15/2020 at 5:36 PM, OC Transpo Route 95 said:

A Further Update:

PH-BFW is the second of KLM’s two 747 Combis that are re-entering service to fly KLM's new special cargo flights.

PH-BFW is flying as flight KL897 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Beijing (PEK). It left AMS today, April 15.

 

Looks like a third Boeing 747 Combi is back in the skies. According to Flightradar24, PH-BFV is currently flying as flight KL895 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Seoul (ICN).

PH-BFV looks to be joining PH-BFT and PH-BFW; flying cargo from Asia to the Netherlands. This is odd, as KLM has only stated that 2 Combis would re-enter service.

 

Also, this means that according to Flightradar24, the only KLM Combi still left in KLM's listed fleet (as of April 18) that has not flown since the end of March is PH-BFS, which last flew as flight KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam on March 26.

PH-BFS will likely not fly again, at least with KLM, as it has had its KLM logo and registration taken off, as evident in this picture taken at AMS from April 13: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9685148

 

Interestingly, all four of the KLM 747 Combis I have mentioned above flew as flight KL686 from Mexico City to Amsterdam as their final passenger flight: PH-BFS on March 26, PH-BFT on March 28 (the last Combi passenger flight ever, landed at AMS on March 29), PH-BFV on March 22, and PH-BFW on March 27.

 

 

EDIT: In addition, PH-BFN, which last flew as flight KL714 from Paramaribo to Amsterdam on March 26; has had one of its engines removed, as evident in this picture taken at AMS from April 16 that I found online yesterday: https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9688813

PH-BFN has been removed from Flightradar24's listing of KLM's active 747 Combi fleet.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Update: As of today, May 25, three of KLM's Boeing 747 Combis continue to fly from Asia to the Netherlands, and back, carrying cargo.

The three 747's are: PH-BFT, PH-BFV, and PH-BFW.

 

In other news, Boeing 747-400M PH-BFS flew as flight KL747 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Chicago (ORD) today, May 25. After clearing customs in Chicago, PH-BFS will head to the Mojave desert. See the tweet below.

 

 

EDIT: (May 26, 2020): PH-BFS flew as flight KL747 from Chicago (ORD) to the Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) today, May 26. See the screenshot below for full final flight information.

image.thumb.png.9f8bfd6fd037ddef7307caee2de5f443.png

 

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Update: As of today, June 29, three of KLM's Boeing 747 Combis (PH-BFT, PH-BFV, PH-BFW) continue to fly from Asia to the Netherlands, and back, carrying cargo.

 

 

In other news, Boeing 747-400M PH-BFY flew as flight KL747 from Amsterdam (AMS) to Chicago (ORD) today, June 29th.

After clearing customs in Chicago, PH-BFY flew as flight KL747 from Chicago (ORD) to the Mojave Air and Space Port (MHV) today, June 29th.

See the screenshot below for full final flight information.

image.thumb.png.2fa6a8b91415885c0ee40a7dfbb467fe.png

 

 

Here is a tweet I found about PH-BFY flying its last flight.

 

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  • 4 months later...

It's official. KLM retires the last passenger Boeing 747-400s in their fleet. PH-BFV, name The City of "Vancouver" was the final passenger 747 in KLM's fleet to retire on October 26. This ends 49 years of service of the Boeing 747 passenger service. KLM still has 3 Cargo 747s, operated by Martinair. 

https://nltimes.nl/2020/10/26/klm-retires-its-last-boeing-747#:~:text=The KLM 747 fleet was,passenger flights offered were slashed.

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  • 2 months later...

It isn't over for PH-BFW!!!!! She's in Tel Aviv for partial cargo conversion for LongTail Aviation. Since it's already a Combi, it will only require a partial conversion. 

Credits: The TLV Spotters on Facebook 

Screenshot_20210119-212933_Facebook.jpg

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  • Greatcoinz changed the title to KLM Boeing 747 Retirement Thread

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