The last Boeing B747-400 of Philippine Airlines (PAL) took its final flight on Saturday night to San Francisco, ending its 35 years of service in the airline company.
Its last flight arrival, PR105, will be given a water-canon salute by airport fire trucks upon landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport early Monday morning.
The title flagship aircraft was transferred from the B747-400 to the Boeing B777-300ER last May 12 at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
PAL’s first B747 series 200, which arrived in Manila in December 1979, required several modifications of airport terminal facilities due to its size.
The B747s were deployed on long-haul and high-density routes such as North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, where they pioneered in using full-flat beds called Skybeds for first class passengers installed on the upper deck of the jets.
PAL’s last B747-400 delivery with registry number RP-C7473 joined the fleet on April 1, 1995.
The airline’s first B747-400 arrived in November 1993 from the Boeing manufacturing plant in Seattle, Washington, carrying former President Fidel V. Ramos, who attended an APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Seattle.
In 2006, PAL started ordering B777 aircraft set to replace its four aging B747-400s plying the Manila to San Francisco and Los Angeles routes with the hope of reducing fuel and maintenance costs particularly on flights to the United States.
Currently, the flag-carrier has a total of six B777 aircraft in its fleet.