This week has been a week of endings and new beginnings in aviation, with a major milestone for good measure.

Air France Retires Its 747 Fleet

AF439 Last 747
The final regularly scheduled Air France 747 flight, AF439 from Mexico City to Paris.

On 11 January AF439 landed in Paris, ending the Boeing 747’s tenure with Air France. The carrier is retiring its fleet of 747s in favor of newer, more fuel efficient aircraft. Air France will operate tribute flights that will tour French landmarks aboard a 747 on 14 January. You can follow those flights on Flightradar24 as AF747 and AF744.

First Regularly Scheduled A380 to Latin America

The first regularly scheduled A380 flight to Latin America, AF438
The first regularly scheduled A380 flight to Latin America, AF438

With the retirement of their 747s, Air France began the first regularly scheduled A380 service to Latin America this week with service between Paris and Mexico City.

Virgin Atlantic Ends 747 Service to London-Heathrow

VS6 and VS10, the last Virgin Atlantic 747s to depart for Heathrow Airport.

On 12 January VS10 and VS6 became the last Virgin Atlantic 747s to take off towards and land at London-Heathrow. VS6 departed Miami for London shortly before VS10 departed New York, but VS6 landed shortly after VS10. Virgin Atlantic will concentrate its 747 flying at London-Gatwick, Manchester, and Glasgow from now on.

ANA Marks Its 100,000th Boeing 787 Revenue Flight

ANA celebrates its 100,000th 787 revenue flight
ANA celebrates its 100,000th 787 revenue flight

ANA, the Boeing 787 launch customer, marked its 100,000th 787 revenue flight with 11 January’s NH178 from Tokyo to Seattle. According to Boeing, ANA flights account for approximately a quarter of all 787 flights.

New Long-haul Routes

Aeromexico began non-stop service between Mexico City and Tokyo.
Aeromexico began non-stop service between Mexico City and Tokyo.

Tokyo also received new non-stop service this week from the 787. Thanks to power enhancements to the engines of its 787s, Aeromexico is now able to fly non-stop from Mexico City to Tokyo. The flight formerly stopped in Monterrey before continuing to Tokyo.

LOT inaugurates non-stop service from Warsaw to Tokyo.

LOT today inaugurates service between Warsaw and Tokyo aboard its 787. This is the first non-stop connection between Poland and Japan.

New Flightradar24 Coverage

We activated our first receiver in Ethiopia this week.

This week we added two new important receivers. We added a receiver in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—our first in Ethiopia. In addition to providing coverage near the Addis Ababa airport, the new receiver will help with en route coverage in eastern Africa.

The first flight tracked by our new receiver in Antarctica.

And finally, we now have a receiver in Antarctica! Our first receiver there was recently installed and successfully tracked its first flight earlier today—a supply flight for the Troll Research Station. We’ll have much more to share about our receiver in Antarctica on our blog later this week.


Featured Image by Iván Cabrero

Ian Petchenik’s love of aviation began at an early age growing up next to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. As Flightradar24’s director of communications and co-host of the AvTalk podcast Ian now gets to share that passion for aviation with millions of Flightradar24 users and listeners around the world.

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