Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Goodbye Megatop

I have first seen an image of Boeing 747 in a cartoon in early 80s in when I was in pre-school ages. Since I also knew a circus elephant named jumbo from another cartoon, it was strange for me to see a plane named jumbo. I have dreamed about taking one as a passenger since than but those were the times the plane tickets were not within reach of middle class. It took some 20+ years I had a chance to fly with one. That was my only time and that was thanks to Singapore Airlines. SIA normally flew Boeing 777 on the Istanbul - Dubai - Singapore route but that day for my luck, they have put a jumbo jet, Boeing 747 to serve this route.

Boeing 747-400 series airliners were introduced to SIA fleet in 1983 and named named Megatops.  They have been flagships of the airline from 1989 until the introduction of the Airbus A380 in October 2007. In 2003 SIA had 39 of them. Today it has only three. Unfortunately Singapore Airlines is saying goodbye to these beautiful planes soon with the last B-747 commercial flight from Singapore to Melbourne and back on March 24th 2012. The airliner was using the plane since 1973:
"SIA's big-aircraft needs are now mainly served by the Airbus 380 superjumbo, which is a more cost-effective and fuel-efficient plane to fly. 
The airline now has 15 A-380s with four more to be delivered in the next few months. The SIA spokesman said the local carrier has no immediate plans to order more A-380s or Boeing's new 747-8, an aircraft which will be launched into commercial service some time this year.  
The phasing out of the B-747 aircraft has also made it difficult for frequent fliers on the SIA Saver Scheme to redeem miles because the older aircraft services only limited flights. But from March 8, SIA will allow frequent fliers on the Saver programme to book business and first-class flights on the A-380 and other new aircraft."
Source : SIA says goodbye to Boeing 747 jumbo
Singapore Airlines Megatop
Boeing 747 -400 series airliners were introduced to SIA fleet in 1983 and were called Megatops. 
The real reason to phase out Boeing 747 can be the fact that the airliner, which faces increased competition as well as potential disastrous results of a possible European debt crisis, is not willing to buy more jumbos whether they are Airbus A-380 or Boeing 747. 

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