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End of an Era: Asiana Plans to Retire Last 747

The airline plans to retire its last Boeing 747-400 near the end of the month.

An Asiana Airlines Boeing 747 approaching Frankfurt Airport. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Asiana Airlines took to social media in late February to announce the retirement of its last Boeing 747-400 aircraft, with a scheduled date of retirement of March 25, 2024.

Asiana stated that the aircraft, with registration HL7428, will operate a single daily flight from Seoul and Taipei up until retirement. The aircraft is scheduled to fly segments OZ711 and OZ712.

Airframe History

The airframe, with serial number 28552, was delivered straight to Asiana on June 18, 1999. In its illustrious 25-year career with the airline, the airframe has traveled the world from its Seoul base, including visits to Frankfurt, New York, Los Angeles, Manila, and Hong Kong. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline parked this airframe in Seoul. After parking the airframe once again in May 2022, the airline redeployed the aircraft to service with flights to Changchun.

The 747-400 has had an extensive history for the airline, with the carrier receiving its first airframe in June of 1993. Since 1993, the carrier ended up operating 18 total 747-400s, at one point serving as one of the main aircraft types in the carrier’s international network.

An Asiana Boeing 747-400 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

The 747-400 reigned supreme in the 1990s and 2000s in the Asia-Pacific region. Nearly every major carrier operated the fleet type, including Qantas, Thai Airways, Air India, Air China, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and many others. However, with the retirement of HL7428, the number of 747-400s operating in the region has significantly dwindled. The last scheduled operator is Air China.

Carriers in the region, including future merger partner Korean Air, have adopted the Boeing 747-8i, along with other higher-efficiency aircraft. Recently, Korean Air, in preparation for the merger, announced an order for 33 Airbus A350 aircraft, following the plan of its fleet renewal process.

As both Airbus and Boeing continue to announce high-efficiency aircraft, and airlines plan their fleet renewal, these four-engine aircraft will continue to be retired from commercial service. Some of these frames will find new life in the freight sector, with a conversion to become a freighter, while others will end up sitting in an aircraft boneyard, waiting to be scrapped.

Arya Karnik

Author

  • Arya Karnik

    Ever since he was a kid, Arya has been interested in aviation. With his entire family overseas, he has taken many family trips worldwide to places like the United Kingdom and India. He lives in Colorado but attends The University of Alabama, studying Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He hopes to obtain his PPL and eventually translate his engineering degree to working in operations at an airline.

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