A Boeing 747 jet belonging to All Nippon Airways Co. touched down at Haneda airport in Tokyo on Monday afternoon following its final flight — bringing to an end nearly four decades of service as part of the nation’s airlines.
The plane arrived from Naha in Okinawa Prefecture with about 500 passengers aboard.
In Japan, the Boeing 747 first entered service with Japan Airlines Corp. in 1970 and played a prime role on major routes.
ANA subsequently introduced 47 of the jumbo jets for both domestic and international flights but later decided to retire the fleet because of its low fuel efficiency compared to newer aircraft, as well as the heavy maintenance costs associated with the aging planes.
“Although it is the trend of the times, I regret seeing the retirement of jumbo jets as I really love them,” said Captain Hiroshi Fujimura, speaking at a ceremony at Naha airport before he flew the jet on its last flight.
ANA has already stopped using the 747 on international flights, while JAL retired its fleet in March 2011.