Update: Tickets for these flights sold out within a few minutes! Many Australian Frequent Flyer members managed to score seats; if you’re booked on one of these flights, check out the planned meet-up threads for members in Sydney, Brisbane or Canberra.
In some great news for aviation enthusiasts, Qantas has decided not to unceremoniously send its last Boeing 747 to the boneyard without a proper send-off after all.
VH-OEJ, Qantas’ youngest and last remaining Boeing 747-400ER, was originally due to leave Australian shores a week ago. That would have been a very sad end indeed for the Qantas 747. Its last commercial passenger flight was a service back from Santiago in late March. The flight was delayed by 24 hours and passengers on board were forced into two weeks of hotel quarantine upon arriving in Sydney after fleeing South America in difficult circumstances.
That wasn’t a fitting send-off, and Qantas agrees. In a last-minute change of plans, Qantas has decided to give the “queen of the skies” the send-off it deserves after 49 years in the Qantas fleet with three domestic joy flights.
Qantas will operate three Boeing 747 joy flights next week
The three Qantas 747 joy flights are scheduled for the following days:
- Monday 13 July: Sydney (10:15 – 11:30)
- Wednesday 15 July: Brisbane (10:15 – 11:30)
- Friday 17 July: Canberra (12:00 – 13:15)
The flights will depart and arrive at the same airports.
“These three flights will offer the final opportunity to fly on the Qantas 747 before it leaves, with some of our frequent flyers and aviation enthusiasts as fond of the aircraft as we are, having spent thousands of hours onboard over the years,” Qantas 747 Fleet Captain Owen Weaver said.
“There is an enormous amount of nostalgia and affection associated with our 747 and for those who miss out on a seat on the flight, they will at least be able to catch a glimpse of the aircraft as it takes to Australian skies for the last time.”
Limited seats will be available to the public for sale from midday today, in Economy and Business class only. Premium Economy seats are being reserved for Qantas employees.
Based on the seat maps for these flights, it appears that Qantas is blocking all middle seats in Economy class:
It also appears that Business class seats in the nose and upper deck are being reserved for Platinum One frequent flyers.
Fly Well protocols will be in place on these flights, with face masks provided to all passengers.
How to secure a seat
Seats on the three Qantas 747 joy flights will go on sale on the Qantas website from midday (AEST) today, Wednesday 8 July. Economy class tickets will cost $400, and Business class tickets will sell for $747. Qantas says that “additional extras” will be included with the ticket price, which could include souvenirs or memorabilia. But Qantas points and status credits will not be earned.
Tickets are expected to sell out quickly. If you wish to book a seat, be ready to book on the Qantas website with your credit card handy from 11.59am!
Some tickets have already been reserved on an invitation-only basis for Qantas Platinum One frequent flyers.
Qantas will operate these flights on a cost-recovery basis and will not profit from them. Any profits will be donated to the HARS Museum and the Qantas Founders Museum, both of which have retired Qantas 747s on display.
If you’re lucky enough to secure a seat, it should be an exciting day!
The last Qantas 747 will now leave Australia on 22 July 2020
After completing these public joy flights, the final Qantas 747 will eventually depart Sydney for retirement in the United States at 2pm on Friday 22 July. There will be a private event for Qantas staff and media prior to the departure of the aircraft, which will bear the flight number QF7474 on its final flight.
Upon departure on 22 July, weather permitting, the plan is for VH-OEJ to taxi past Shep’s Mound before doing a flyby of Sydney Harbour and Sydney’s northern and eastern beaches. Finally, it will then complete a low level flyby of HARS at Shellharbour Airport before commencing the long journey across the Pacific Ocean.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: QF Final 747 flight