Monday, January 6, 2014

ANA retires JA8966; only two B747-400Ds remain.

All Nippon Airways (NH/ANA) today flew Boeing 747-481/D JA8966's last revenue flight, touching down at Tokyo/Haneda (HND/RJTT) at 2150 local time as flight NH136 from Naha/Okinawa (OKA/ROAH). It was sitting at Haneda as back-up equipment for today, however, due to the delay in arrival of NH126 into Haneda, JA8966 was deployed on NH137 to Naha.
Boeing 747-481/D JA8966 at Fukuoka in August 2012. (Photo: Ryosuke Yano)

The aircraft was delivered new from Boeing in December 1995 and has been plying Japanese skies on trunk domestic routes ever since. It was the aircraft involved in the hijacking of flight NH61, service from Haneda to Sapporo/New Chitose (CTS/RJCC), on July 23, 1999. Captain Nagashima was killed by the hijacker, who has been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. After final maintenance checks, which start tomorrow, JA8966 is expected to be ferried to Tupelo (TUP/KTUP) in Mississippi, U.S.A. for part-out by aircraft-recycling firm Universal Asset Management, as with previous B747-400Ds retired from ANA.

On January 12th, as part of ANA's 'Final 747: Thanks Jumbo!' series of events commemorating the retirement of the B747, the airline will bring back the 565-seat jumbo jetliner to Osaka/Itami (ITM/RJOO) for the first time since March 31st, 2006, when tri-jets and quad-jets were banned from the airport to reduce noise footprint. ANA is planning a sightseeing flight and photo opportunities for local enthusiasts, and the airline obtained a one-day quad-jet permission for this purpose.

JA8966's departure leaves ANA with just two B747-400Ds: JA8960 and JA8961. The final revenue flight is planned for March 31st on a Haneda - Naha round-trip. ANA will also deploy the type one last time on the Haneda - Fukuoka (FUK/RJFF) and Haneda - New Chitose routes one day before on March 30th.

The final countdown has begun...

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