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
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
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
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, 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
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 today inaugurates service between Warsaw and Tokyo aboard its 787. This is the first non-stop connection between Poland and Japan.
New Flightradar24 Coverage
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.
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.