Qantas retires its last standard Boeing 747-400

VH-OJU has now been retired from use by the Australian carrier. Photo: © Robert Myers

Australian flag-carrier Qantas has retired its last ‘standard’ Boeing 747-400.

Qantas’ Boeing 747-400, registered as VH-OJU and named “Lord Howe Island”, has flown its final commercial flight, operating from Sydney to Los Angeles as QF99 on Sunday. This flight marks the 6th of 12 Qantas 747-400 retirements.

The almost 20 year-old aircraft is the last of Qantas’ standard Boeing 747-400, running on RB211 engines made by Rolls Royce. The remaining six Boeing 747s in the airline’s fleet are 747-400ER, powered by General Electric (GE) CF6 engines.

The flight was using a new “points plane” concept, which is a flight where only travelers with a Qantas frequent flyer membership can book seats, and can use their frequent flyer points to pay for the flight.

By the end of 2020, all of Qantas’ Boeing 747-400s will be retired in favor of Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner. Ending Qantas’ long history with the 747 dating back to 1971, when Qantas took delivery of its first Boeing 747-238B.

Along with the six Boeing 747, Qantas’ long-haul fleet consists of Airbus A330, A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Read more: Qantas Freight adds first Boeing 747-8 freighter