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Singapore Airlines Bids Farewell To B747

Singapore Airlines Bids Farewell To B747

Singapore Airlines (SIA) bid farewell to its Boeing 747 passenger fleet on Friday, with special commemorative flights between Singapore and Hong Kong.

Flight SQ747 departed Singapore’s Changi Airport at 0830hrs after a series of celebratory events at gate B7 in terminal 3. The flight was operated with aircraft 9V-SPQ, which was the last B747-400 that SIA took delivery of in 2001. It is arrived in Hong Kong at 1315hrs before operating return flight SQ748, which arrived in Singapore at around 19:30hrs.

More than 350 customers and crew, as well as media and other invited guests, were on board flight SQ747 that commemorated the B747’s 38-year history with the airline. They included SIA’s first B747 pilot, retired Captain Kenneth Toft, as well as renowned wine connoisseur, Ms Jeannie Cho Lee, who is a member of SIA’s distinguished Wine Panel. Twenty students and guardians from Singapore’s Chaoyang School were also on the flight, bound for a weekend in Hong Kong courtesy of SIA. It was the first flight experience for most of the students.

“The 747 was truly the jewel in our fleet for nearly four decades, and we would not be the airline that we are today if we had not made the bold decision in 1972 to purchase this iconic jetliner,” said Singapore Airlines’ Executive Vice President Commercial, Mr Mak Swee Wah, who is leading the festivities on board flights SQ747 and SQ748.

“The jumbo enabled us to fly from Singapore to destinations that we could not previously reach. It also allowed us to do things that were previously unimaginable on a commercial aircraft, giving us the opportunity to provide our customers new standards in space and comfort.”

Mr Mak led passengers in a champagne toast across all three classes shortly after flight SQ747’s departure. Exquisitely-crafted meals were served on board, and First and Business Class customers enjoyed courses specially paired with premium wines from top producers.

Each customer received a unique certificate as well as a B747 aircraft model and limited-edition memorabilia. In addition, the flight provided special B747 in-flight entertainment programmes that featured a series of exclusive staff interviews.

Some 70 passengers returned from Hong Kong to Singapore on flight SQ748 after a 90-minute stopover. SIA’s B747 Chief Pilot, Captain Roger Loh, was in command of the return flight, which departed from Hong Kong at 1445hrs and arrived in Singapore at 1930hrs.

“It is my privilege and honour to be the Commander of this historic flight, to close the chapter in the Queen of the Skies’ great history with Singapore Airlines,” said Captain Loh. “We will all miss her.”

Aircraft 9V-SPQ was the last B747 remaining in SIA’s passenger fleet. SIA’s B747-400s were configured with a total of 375 seats – 12 First Class, 50 Business Class and 313 Economy Class.

SIA placed its first orders for B747s in 1972 and took delivery of the first examples in 1973. In 1994, SIA became the world’s biggest B747-400 operator when it took delivery of its 23rd of the type. By 2003, SIA operated a record 51 Boeing 747-400s, comprising 39 passenger variants and 12 freighters.

More information about SIA’s B747 history can be found at www.SIAjourneys.com.

ENDS

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