Tue, Aug 22, 2017 - Page 12 News List

EVA Air retires ‘Queen of the Skies’ Boeing 747-400

Staff writer, with CNA

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), one of the nation’s two major international carriers, retired its last Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft, nicknamed the “Queen of the Skies” by aviation enthusiasts, after it carried 389 passengers from Hong Kong to Taipei yesterday.

Boeing 747-400 aircraft had served the airline as a passenger plane for 25 years, but EVA will continue to use it as a cargo plane until 2019, when it will be replaced by the double-engine Boeing 777, the company said.

The decommissioned aircraft is to be dismantled and sold, the carrier said.

The Boeing 747-400 set the standard for wide-body airplanes when it was first flown as a passenger aircraft by Northwest Airlines in February 1989.

EVA took delivery of its first 747-400 in November 1992 and put it into operation on Dec. 12 that year for the carrier’s first flight from Taipei to Los Angeles.

NEW CLASS

The airline introduced the four-engine aircraft because its design, performance and cabin comfort were superior to the features of other models at the time, EVA said.

Known for its stretched double-deck configuration, the airplanes also enabled EVA to lead the industry in launching a fourth cabin class — economy deluxe — offering passengers a level of service between business and economy class at an affordable price.

It was a practice later followed by many carriers.

Over the past 25 years, EVA has operated a total of 18 Boeing 747-400s — seven as passenger aircraft, three as cargo aircraft and eight for dual use.

EVA now relies heavily on Boeing 777-300 ERs for long-haul flights, and it plans to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the latter half of next year, becoming the first carrier in Taiwan to operate the model.

A farewell ceremony for the “Queen of the Skies” is to be held on Thursday, which is to be live-streamed on EVA’s Facebook page, the airline said.

Meanwhile, China Airlines Ltd (中華航空), the nation’s other major international carrier, said it would decommission two of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft in November.

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