Qantas’s last Boeing 747 aeroplane left a farewell message in the sky as it flew from Australia for the final time.
The “Queen of the Skies” departed from Sydney Airport on its last journey to Los Angeles, and drew the company’s kangaroo logo in the air before setting off across the sea.
The jumbo jet will be sent to an aircraft graveyard in the Mojave Desert, where it will be parked and stripped for parts.
The flight, which took off at 2pm local time, flew over the Harbour Bridge and the HARS aviation museum.
The plane taxied past Shep’s Mound and received a water cannon salute before take-off.
Although the retirement of the company’s six Boeing 747s had always been planned, it was brought forward by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has had a devastating effect on the aviation industry.
Qantas announced in June that it planned to cut at least 6,000 jobs and keep 15,000 more workers on extended furlough in a bid to survive the health crisis.
The company also announced plans to reduce costs by billions of dollars and raise fresh capital, as well as grounding of 100 planes for a year or more.
Greg Fitzgerald, who was the co-pilot for the flight to LA, told ABC Breakfast in Australia that it marked the end of a significant chapter in Australia’s aviation industry.
He said: “Everybody in the world knows the shape of the 747. It’s always been there, we don’t know life without the 747 in the skies, which is why this aeroplane is going to be particularly hard to say goodbye to.”