The Boeing 747, the original jumbo jet that was the favorite American presidents and key to economic mass market air travel in the United States, will pass into aviation history this week. Nearly 50 years after the its debut, the 747 will take its final profitable flight with an American carrier Tuesday on Delta Air Lines' Seoul-to-Detroit route.
It "made flying available for everyone," said Boeing chief company historian Michael Lombardi said of the iconic jet. "The 747 gave wings to the world." Aerospace consultant Michel Merluzeau said the plane changed travel. "All of a immediate, you could go from Singapore to London in less than 24 hours. It made everything more reachable."
Delta's sendoff for the storied aircraft comprised special flights on Wednesday for employees and top customers. Ticket prices for these "farewell tour" flights have soared owing to insistence from nostalgic consumers. The 747 will still be in the skies for Lufthansa, British Airways and Korean Air Lines.
And Boeing also will still build the jet as a freight carrier and for a few unique clients, including the US president, who has used a specially-outfitted 747 as Air Force One since 1990. But the American aerospace giant has been shifting to more fuel-efficient models for commercial travel.
- Source: NDTV