"Retirement Tour" of Last Domestic JAL Jumbo Jet - Last Flight from Naha to Haneda

On January 6, JAL Tours Co., Ltd., which handles domestic travel products for Japan Air Lines Co., Ltd. (JAL), began seeking participants for the "retirement tour" of the airline's last Boeing 747―fondly known as the "Jumbo Jet"―flying in domestically in Japan.

The tour, called the "Farewell to the 400D Jumbo in Japan Two-Day Retirement Flight," will commence on February 19. The aircraft, commissioned in 1991 as number JA8084, will fly from Haneda Airport to New Chitose Airport, followed by a revival of the once popular and longest domestic flight in Japan from Sapporo to Okinawa. Pilots and cabin crew will join passengers for a dinner party at their accommodations in Okinawa before embarking on the "last flight" the following day from Naha to Haneda. Basic fare is JPY 59,800 (including one breakfast and lunch). Tickets are limited to 510 people.

The Boeing 747-400 has basked in the limelight as the "high-tech jumbo" that dispenses with the need for a flight engineer. The 400D was designed specifically for domestic flights with the highest seating capacity in the series in excess of 500 passengers. "When it comes to seating capacity, the [400D] is the pinnacle [of large passenger aircraft] and is a symbol of the era of mass air transportation," said a JAL spokesperson.

JAL has decided to retire the Boeing 747 for domestic flights in March of this year due to changes in aviation demand and the introduction of more efficient aircraft. JAL Tours plans commemorative tours and photo tours on international routes to Hawaii, Guam and elsewhere for the retirement of the international version of the 747.