UTC 20:08

Qantas retires its Boeing 747-400 VH-OJU 'Lord Howe Island' delivered in 2000

Credit: Seth Jaworski

Qantas’s Boeing 747-400 fleet is down to half a dozen airframes following the withdrawal of VH-OJU Lord Howe Island.

The 19-year-old aircraft, which came out of the Boeing production line in January 2000, had its final commercial flight in Qantas colours on Sunday, October 13 2019, when it operated the QF99 from Sydney to Los Angeles.


Passengers heard the announcements from pilots and cabin crew providing plenty of information on the history of the aircraft, the proposed route to Los Angeles and details about the takeoff weight out of Sydney.

The pilots also alerted passengers to the moment VH-OJU Lord Howe Island flew over its island namesake, about 425 miles east of Sydney.

Some 13 hours after departure, and following some dinner, rest and breakfast over the course of the flight, VH-OJU touched down at Los Angeles International Airport at a little after 1200 local time and taxied its way to a remote stand on the western side of the airfield.

After 19 years, 70 million km, 92,000+ hours flown & 2.5 million pax carried, this 747 will be retired. 

The retirement of VH-OJU, which was the last remaining Rolls-Royce-powered 747-438 in the Qantas fleet, left six GE-powered 747-438ERs (VH-OEE thru OEJ) delivered between 2002 and 2003.

Track Qantas fleet at: https://www.radarbox.com/data/airlines/QFA

In all, Qantas has operated 65 747s, taking delivery of 57 new 747s from Boeing, purchasing three 747-400s second-hand and operating five leased aircraft at various points. 

Qantas has said previously it was expecting to have the last 747 withdrawn by the time the airline celebrates its centenary at the end of 2020.

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