07 November 2017

United Bids Aloha ‘Oe To The 747

United Airlines flew their final Boeing 747 passenger flight today from SFO to HNL as UAL747. N118UA (c/n 28811, l/n 1201, f/n 8418) made the momentous flight filled with a mix of United employees, passengers, and media. There was a huge pre-boarding event at the United Terminal at SFO, and employees lined up alongside the airliner, waving as it pushed out on to the taxiway. Following take-off, it made a pass over the Golden Gate Bridge, before crossing the Pacific Ocean. 

United used Gate 33 for the arrival, which was decorated with commemorative large banners, a giant thank you card for UAL747's passengers and crew, HNL Station employees, and anyone else wanting to wish the 747 farewell. N118UA's approach into HNL was preceded by a pass above Maui with views of Hawai‘i Island, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, and Kaho‘olawe. Minutes before landing, rain showers enveloped HNL, and the 747-422 landed on Runway 8L with a Hawaiian blessing. The rain lasted until the ground crew draped a bright orange lei around the front of the Boeing Jumbo Jet.

Everyone deplaning received an orchid lei fro HNL Station employees, and there was a Hawaiian music group and hula dancers who performed for the passengers. There was also a cake to commemorate the 747's farewell. Speeches were made by Hawai‘i Governor David Ige, State Senator Lorraine Inouye, and Boeing's Bruce Dickenson among others.

After the celebration was done, N118UA was towed across the airport, from Gate 33 to the United Airlines Hangar, where it was parked at the opening of the hangar, for an employee party that was held inside the hangar.

N118UA is scheduled to return to SFO tomorrow, and will be ferried to VCV on Thursday, where it will be placed into storage.

photos to follow ...

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