Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Sad farewells

Recently there have been a number of aircraft types making their last appearances for their airlines and, more dramatically, airlines going bust, most notably Air Berlin and Monarch.

Air Berlin called it a day at the end of October, as they found themselves in increasing financial difficulties. Their long haul flights ceased before the short haul ones did and by the end of October 2017 they had become part of history

D-ALPA | Airbus A330-223 | Air Berlin

Monarch's demise was rather more dramatic. Whereas there was notice that Air Berlin were going to pack it in, Monarch suddenly ceased trading - although the writing had been on the wall since their flirtation with bankruptcy in 2016 - causing the UK Government Civil Aviation Authority to charter aircraft to repatriate people back to the UK after their holidays.

G-OZBY | A320-214 | Monarch Airlines

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines retired their Fokkers at the end of October as well. Not as dramatic as an airline going out of business but still a sad occasion.

PH-KZM | Fokker 70 | KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

United Airlines are retiring their 747s, the last United 747 departed Heathrow only a few days ago and the plane which operated that flight is already in the desert.
N104UA, seen here at Narita in March, was retired in July 2017.

N104UA | Boeing 747-400 | United Airlines

It's especially sad to see the big 4-engined jets like the 747 and A340 vanishing from the skies, seen off by costs and more efficient twin engined jets such as the 777 and A350, but at least the 747 will live on as a freighter for many more years. The 747 flew commercially for the first time a few days before I was born and some of its 'descendants' will probably still be flying when I am old. Old aircraft are replaced by new and there'll always be interesting stuff to photograph and travel on for many years to come.

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