Corsair (SS) has retired its last of three remaining Boeing 747-400 after 30 years of flight operations. The aircraft took off from its home base in Paris Orly (ORY) and landed at Kemble Cotswold Airport (GBA).
According to the airline, their Boeing 747 fleet transported over seven million passengers around the world.
Although the aircraft were to be retired in April 2021, the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry prompted the airline to move up the retirement and fleet renewal plan.
As part of the fleet renewal plan, Corsair retired the Boeing 747 in favor of a homogenous Airbus A330 fleet.
The Airbus aircraft will be more efficient, environment-friendly, and flexible to the airline. As of now, the airline has five Airbus A330-900 on order, the first of which is to be delivered in August of this year.
The last of the three 747 to be retired are F-GTUI flew over 100,000 flight hours. F-GTUI’s siblings, F-HSEA and F-HSUN were retired on the 9th and 12th of this year.
Corsair is one of the few airlines in the world to have operated all versions of the Boeing 747 and was synonymous with its operations.
The airline began using the type in 1990, giving the carrier the ability to respond to high demand with a 592 seat configuration. According to the SS, the 747 were part of medical flights, special missions for the UN, or cultural and sports operations.
The use of the jumbo jet opened up the airline’s doors to long-haul operations to French territories. These included Martinique, Reunion, Antilles, and more. The airline’s use of the Boeing 747 even helped to put Maho Beach of Sint Maarten on the map.
With Corsair’s retirement of the Boeing 747, the aircraft is starting to fade away sooner than anticipated. Qantas, Lufthansa, KLM and possibly British Airways have retired all or some of their 747 earlier than planned due to the impact of COVID-19.
In other words, the retirement of Corsair’s Boeing 747 is truly the end of an era.