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KLM retires its final Boeing 747

written by Hannah Dowling | October 27, 2020
A file image of Boeing 747-400 PH-BFP in KLM livery. (Commons Wikimedia/Alf van Beem)
A file image of Boeing 747-400 PH-BFP in KLM livery. (Commons Wikimedia/Alf van Beem)

Dutch airline KLM has joined the long list of airlines that have said their final farewells to their iconic jumbo jets.

The last of KLM’s Boeing 747 fleet have landed at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam for the final time on Sunday, signalling the end of an era for the Dutch flag carrier.

The airline’s six remaining jumbo jets were initially due to be retired at the end of 2021, however like many airlines, the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent drop in demand for international travel brought this intended date forward to March 2020. 


KLM then brought three 747s back out of retirement in order to meet the growing demand for freight service and medical equipment transportation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline has utilised its jumbo jets to conduct daily services between China and the Netherlands.

Sadly, as of Sunday, the last KLM 747-400M, registration PH-BFV, was finally returned to her retirement, after conducting her last flight between Shanghai and Schipol.

PH-BFV took off from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 4:43pm local time, and landed at Schiphol just before 9:10pm.

KLM has enlisted a Boeing 777 to handle the rest of its future services between China and Amsterdam.


PH-BFV, named the “City of Vancouver”, has been in service for over 21 years, after being delivered to KLM by Boeing in 1999.

To say farewell to the Queen of the Skies, KLM took to Twitter with some photos taken of the iconic aircraft in KLM livery over the years.

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