JAL B-747s end last voyage, capping 40 years of service

From Kyodo News

Two Japan Airlines Boeing 747s arrived at Narita airport on Tuesday afternoon on their final flights, bringing to an end more than four decades of service by the “jumbo jets” for the carrier.

Flight 75 returned from Honolulu and Flight 3098 flew back from Naha in Okinawa Prefecture, with cabin attendants wearing both current and earlier uniforms and JAL staff holding up banners saying “Thank you, Jumbo.”

“The jumbo was my teacher and partner who brought me up as a pilot,” said Kazuyuki Saito, 49, captain of Flight 75.

“I feel sad as the jumbo jet has a long history,” said Toyoko Yoshida, 57, from Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, who took a family trip to Honolulu and came back to Japan on the jumbo jet.

JAL’s B-747 fleet entered service in 1970, and there were about 80 of the jumbo jets in service at the peak time between 1994 and 2001. JAL, which is currently under rehabilitation, decided to pull the gas-guzzling fleet out of service.