Delta Air Lines Postpones the Retirement of Its 747 from Scheduled Flights by Two Days

About a month ago and a half ago, I wrote about Delta Air Lines’ last 747 to Japan. And, later I wrote about its plans for phasing their final Boeing 747s out of service.

Delta Air Lines Postpones the Retirement of Its 747 from Scheduled Flights by Two Days

As it turned out, however, things went slightly different than planned with Delta Air Lines operating an additional (charter) flight into Japan, as well as postponing its last scheduled 747 flight a bit.

The “Real” Last Delta Air Lines 747 Flight to Japan?

First of all, after Delta Air Lines operated its last 747 Narita – Detroit flight on October 30, 2017, which was marketed as the last 747 flight into Japan, the Delta Jumbo made a re-appearance in Japan in November on a military charter flight.

The flight, DL8820 operated by N668US, arrived at Sendai airport on November 28 from McChord Air Base. It then made its way to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa on November 29 before leaving Japan for Gwangju Air Base in Korea later that day.

While not completely certain, it is very likely that the above was the “real” last flight of a Delta Air Lines 747 into Japan.

An Extra Roundtrip on the Detroit – Seoul Route

Second, originally Delta Air Lines announced that the last scheduled 747 flight would happen on December 17, 2017. However, in a press release yesterday, it announced that the last flight would instead happen two days later.

As such, the final Detroit – Seoul rotation which will also be the last regular scheduled Delta Air Lines 747 flight will take place as follows:

  • Flight DL159 departing Detroit at 12:31PM on December 17 and arriving at Seoul Incheon at 4:30PM on December 16
  • Flight DL158 departing Seoul Incheon at 11:15AM on December 19 and arriving in Detroit at 10:14AM the same day

While, as a 747 fan, I am glad to see that the 747 will get to live one extra roundtrip longer than originally intended, I can also see that there will be some disappointed people on both ends of the spectrum:

Avgeeks disappointed because what they originally booked as the last scheduled Delta 747 flight is not the last flight anymore. And, “regular” passengers disappointed because of the downgrade in their passenger experience.

Especially so in business class where the equipment change on the December 17 and 19 flights means the difference between flying in the new Delta One Suites and the older reverse-herringbone seat.

Delta Air Lines 747 Business Class Seat


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