Browsing Tag: Qantas

A beautiful Qantas Boeing 747-400 - Photo: Owen Zupp

A beautiful Qantas Boeing 747-400 – Photo: Owen Zupp

This is a guest post written by Owen Zupp, who has previously written a few great stories on AirlineReporter. Zupp’s background ranges from charter work and flight instruction to ferry flights, flight testing, and he has served as both a Chief Pilot and Chief Flying Instructor. With over 25 years in airline operations, Owen has flown both domestically and across the globe from his Australian base. He holds a Masters Degree in Aviation Management and his writings on aviation have been published around the world and received various accolades and awards. He is also just a cool guy! -Editor

When it comes to the QANTAS Boeing 747, as the Beatles famously sang, ’œI heard the news, today. Oh boy!’ ’¦. although not officially. There may be life in the old girl yet.

The news broadcasts were showing footage of the ’œQueen of the Skies’ making a flypast of Sydney Harbour, proclaiming that it was the final commercial service for the 747 in QANTAS colors. Meanwhile, my website and phone were bombarded with a common theme, ’œIs it true?’ To be honest, I believe that it is highly likely, although I am yet to see an official announcement.

Since the commencement of the Stand Down, I have doubted whether the QANTAS 747 would return into commercial operations when the pandemic has passed. It has been a fine servant to the airways and all that it has safely conveyed, however, its planned retirement was well underway, before Covid-19 ever took its vile grip on the world. Still, there is no official statement to say that the 747 has retired from commercial service with QANTAS. Even so, it seems an opportune time to reflect on ‘the Queen”, as she is set to be on the ground for the time being.

What a view! - Photo: Owen Zupp

What a view! – Photo: Owen Zupp

This is a guest post written by Owen Zupp, who has previously written a few great stories on AirlineReporter. Today, he is sharing some parts of his new book, Boeing 747. Queen of the Skies: Reflections from the Flight Deck (we get no kick-back from the book, just want to share some cool AvGeekness — yes, that is now a thing). Zupp’s background ranges from charter work and flight instruction to ferry flights, flight testing, and the airlines. He has also served as both a Chief Pilot and Chief Flying Instructor. With 20 years in airline operations, Owen has flown both domestically and across the globe from his Australian base. He holds a Masters Degree in Aviation Management and his writings on aviation have been published around the world and received various accolades and awards. He is also just a cool guy! -Editor

To many, the Boeing 747 is more than merely a means of air travel. Affectionately called the ’œQueen of the Skies’, its arrival transformed the globe and over more than half a century it has carved its own niche in the history of aviation.

Its significance was recently impressed upon me by the number of queries I have received, both in person and via my website, that relate to the Boeing 747. Even though my career has seen me operate a hundred different types – the ’œQueen’ continues to consume the lion’s share of interest.

I have been fortunate in that as an airline pilot and aviation writer, I have been privy to some very interesting 747 operations. From flying over the Antarctica to ferrying a fifth engine beneath the wing, I have been able to research and share a range of experiences.

As a consequence, I thought it was time to put these stories together in one place and the title, ’œBoeing 747 – Queen of the Skies. Reflections from the Flight Deck’ was born.

What follows is an excerpt from the title. It relates to the chapter, ’œMagnificent Desolation’, which saw a Boeing 747-400ER venture southward to the frozen continent of Antarctica.

I recently shared my story of flying Qantas economy, premium economy, and business class cabins. Today, we cover the first class experience.

A Qantas A380 being towed in Sydney - Photo: Colin Cook

A Qantas A380 being towed in Sydney – Photo: Colin Cook

When my girlfriend Molly and I first started planning our trip to Australia, I was skeptical that we would find any award availability in a premium cabin. With flights from the west coast to Australia averaging 15+ hours, premium cabin awards are extremely difficult to find, especially for more than one seat. During the several weeks that I searched, I rarely found any coach availability on desirable flights, and no premium cabin award space at all. Finally, one fateful Saturday afternoon, I hit the jackpot. I found two seats in First Class on Qantas, using Alaska Airlines miles. Score!