The Last Boeing 747 Takes Flight
The end of an era was marked on 31st Jan 2023 as the last-ever Boeing 747 was delivered to US air cargo operator Atlas Air at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington. The iconic airplane, known as the “Queen of the Skies,” revolutionized intercontinental travel and captured the hearts of millions of passengers and airplane enthusiasts worldwide.
The Last of Its Kind
In a poignant ceremony that was broadcast live online, the final 747 was revealed behind flags bearing the liveries of every carrier that has ever taken delivery of the aircraft. Atlas Air now has 56 of the aircraft in its fleet. In a small but significant detail, a decal near the nose pays homage to Joe Sutter, the chief engineer of the Boeing 747 program and known as the “father” of the 747, who passed away in 2016.
Celebrating the Legacy of the 747
Many of the companies that have relied on the Boeing 747 over the years came together to celebrate the aircraft’s delivery, including Lufthansa, which is still the largest operator of the passenger version of the 747. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said, “The 747 is a symbol for many, many things, and above all, I think it’s a symbol for the world, which the 747 has made substantially smaller.”
Actor and pilot John Travolta, who narrated a series of videos chronicling the 747’s colorful history, also appeared to thank the employees of Boeing for building “the most well-thought-out and safest aircraft ever built.”
End of an Era
While the final 747 will not be carrying paying passengers, its delivery is another milestone for the iconic airplane that has been in service for over 50 years. The end of the 747’s enduring career moves even closer as airlines switch their preferences to smaller and more economical aircraft. The last passenger 747 entered service more than five years ago.
Interestingly, the Boeing 747’s production line outlasted that of one of its direct competitors, the Airbus A380, which was produced between 2003 and 2021. The B747-8 Intercontinental, the last variant of the 747, proved to be a swan song for large four-engine airliners. Although the A380 is enjoying a revival with airlines bringing stored aircraft back to service in response to the post-Covid air traffic recovery, these giants of the skies struggle to compete with the operational flexibility and fuel economies of smaller twin-engine jets.
31st Jan’s delivery of the last-ever Boeing 747 is a moment long anticipated by the global aviation community. Expectant airplane enthusiasts followed every step of the final Boeing 747’s construction since Boeing announced in July 2020 that it was ceasing production of its one-time flagship. The Boeing 747 may be reaching the end of its flight, but its legacy will live on as a symbol of the glamour, innovation, and affordability of air travel.
History of Boeing Stock Market journey
Boeing is one of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the world, established in 1916. It has been publicly traded on the stock market since the 1920s, and has become a major player in the aerospace industry, producing popular commercial airliners such as the 747 and 737, as well as military aircraft and defense systems.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Boeing’s stock price saw significant growth as the company reported strong financial results and demand for its products remained high. However, the company faced challenges in the 2010s, including production delays and cost overruns for its 787 Dreamliner program, as well as the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft following two fatal crashes.
Despite these challenges, Boeing’s stock has remained a popular choice for investors, offering stability and steady growth over the long-term. The company continues to be a major player in the aerospace industry, and is well positioned for future growth as demand for air travel is expected to recover and new technologies emerge.