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EVA Air retires 'Queen of the Skies' Boeing 747-400

2017/08/21 17:42:43

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) EVA Airways, one of Taiwan's two major international carriers, retired its last Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft, nicknamed the "Queen of the Skies" by aviation geeks, after it carried 389 passengers from Hong Kong to Taipei on Monday.

Boeing 747-400 aircraft had served the airline as a passenger plane for 25 years, but EVA will continue to use it as a cargo plane until 2019, when it will be replaced by the double-engine Boeing 777.

The decommissioned Boeing 747-400 passenger aircraft will be dismantled and sold, according to the airline.

The Boeing 747-400 set the standard for wide-body airliners when it was first flown as a passenger aircraft by Northwest Airlines in February 1989.

EVA took delivery of its first 747-400 in November 1992 and put it into operation on December 12 that year for the carrier's first flight from Taipei to Los Angeles.

Video courtesy of EVA Air

It introduced the four-engine aircraft because its design, performance and cabin comfort were superior to the features of other models at the time, the airline said.

Known for its stretched double-deck configuration, the jets also enabled EVA to lead the industry in launching a fourth cabin class -- economy deluxe -- offering passengers a level of service between business and economy class at an affordable price.

It was a practice later followed by many carriers.

Over the past 25 years, EVA has operated a total of 18 Boeing 747-400s -- seven as passenger aircraft, three as cargo aircraft and eight for dual use (Combi).

EVA now relies heavily on Boeing 777-300 ERs for long-haul flights, and it plans to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the latter half of 2018, becoming the first carrier in Taiwan to operate the model.

A farewell ceremony for the "Queen of the Skies" will be held on Thursday, and it will be live-streamed on EVA's Facebook page, the airline said.

Meanwhile, China Airlines, Taiwan's other major international carrier, said it will decommission two of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft this November.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)