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.


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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