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KLM Retires the “Queen of the Skies”

After over 49 years of service, KLM has retired the 747 for passenger flights.

The last flight arrived around 3 P.M. local time at Schiphol Airport as Flight 686 from Mexico City, while two other Boeing 747s arrived from Paramaribo and Curaçao earlier that day. The last flight was operated by the PH-BFT, which is named ‘City of Tokyo’.

KLM was the world’s final airline to use the 747-400M, or combi for passenger operations. The 747-400M makes it possible for airlines to carry passengers and large pieces of cargo at the same time. While the aircraft holds around 250 passengers at the front of the cabin, the rear of the main deck is filled with cargo.

Although the last 747-400 passenger aircraft has flown its last commercial flight for KLM, the three 747-400 cargo aircraft will stay in the fleet. Sister company Martinair Cargo operates all-cargo flights on behalf of KLM Cargo. The airline currently does not have any plans to retire the 747 Freighter yet, meaning that it will likely keep the aircraft for at least a few more years.

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