Why It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye - B747

We’ve already lost the beautiful Concorde to excessive cost and tragedy, but now another one of world’s most iconic airline designs is due to follow.

The Boeing 747, an icon that harkens back to another time of flying (think the Pan Am glory days), is set to fade away.

Cathay Pacific flew their last 747 flight back in October, and United and Delta are phasing the aircraft out this year.

The iconic bubble, initially added allow for a cargo door to be fitted to the nose, started out being used as a First Class lounge in some of the golden days of jet travel. After the 1973 fuel crisis, most airlines — wait for it —added more seats, a trend that carries on today.

Boeing 747 spotted by Siddh Dhuri at Mumbai Airport

The industry has moved onto focus on more cost effective two-engine planes that can land at a wider variety of airports. Though some of the later models of the 747 will still be in the air, Boeing’s order book for the plane has dwindled and the plane is settling into the twilight of its storied career.

While there are newer, flashier and more fuel efficient planes, when I’m on the road and gazing out the window at Helsinki Vantaa or Singapore’s Changi, the sight of a 747 still makes me smile. In addition to the iconic and timeless beauty of the silhouette, it is the plane that brought the possibility of air travel to more people, and also made Boeing a household name.

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