Air NZ Boeing 747-400 Takes Final Flight
Air New Zealand’s last Boeing 747-400 affectionately referred to by pilots as “Daddy’s yacht” has completed its final flight in teal livery, as the airline ushers in a new generation of long-haul aircraft.
The 16-year-old aircraft registered as ZK-NBV, also named Christchurch, made its final touchdown with Air New Zealand this month on a flight from San Francisco to Auckland.
The occasion marked the end of Air New Zealand’s nearly 35 years with a jumbo-jet fleet, which is making way for more economical aircraft.
Air New Zealand said it could not confirm details of the future of the aircraft due to commercial sensitivities.
But the aircraft was likely to continue flying elsewhere, unlike many of its predecessors, which ended up in wreckers’ yards.
New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association president Wayne Renwick, who flew 747-400s as second officer for six years, said the aircraft’s extra capacity and range revolutionised the aviation industry.
“It definitely made a difference to aviation in the South Pacific,” Renwick said.
Passenger comfort was improved because there was more space and less need for fuel stops on long-distance flights.
Original article by John Anthony, The Sydney Morning Herald, September 12, 2014.
Photo by Pedro Aragao.