The Ultimate Guide to Flying on the Boeing 747 in 2019: Remaining Airlines and Routes

The Ultimate Guide to Flying on the Boeing 747 in 2019: Remaining Airlines and Routes

With its distinct shape and four engines, the Boeing 747 – or “Queen of the Skies” – is, perhaps, the most recognized aircraft in the world. Having first flown commercially in 1970, it has been transporting passengers and cargo for almost 50 years.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i

However, with more efficient twin-engine planes taking over the skies, flights operated by the Boeing 747 are getting farther and fewer between. Especially so on passenger routes.

Over the last couple of years, previously major operators of the type such as Air France, Cathay PacificEva Air, as well as the last two US operators of the type – United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, retired the Queen of the Skies and substituted it with newer, more fuel efficient planes.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400

With less than twenty Boeing 747 operators remaining on scheduled passenger routes, I decided to put together this article together back in 2018. This is an updated version that details the airlines and routes the 747 can still be flown on in 2019.

If you are looking for inspiration for your next trip, you can keep scrolling down and reading about the 747 operations of each of the airlines. Alternatively, if there is a particular airline you are interested in, just click on its name in the list below:

If you want to learn more about the history of the Queen of the Skies, make sure to check out 747: Creating the World’s First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation, a book by “the father of the 747,” Joe Sutter. Besides buying a printed book, you can also get it for free in an audiobook format with Audible’s free 30-day trial.

If you want to learn more about the aircraft type itself, make sure to check my article detailing the specifications of each of the 747 variants.

Finally, if you are in a hurry, you can jump straight to the summary at the end of this article.


Air China Boeing 747-400 & 747-8i

Air China is one of three operators using both the most common 747-400 (3 aircraft as of the end of 2018), as well as the latest 747-8i (6 aircraft + 1 in VIP configuration operated for the Chinese government). Because of that, we can expect to see the iconic aircraft in Air China’s livery roam the skies for many years to come.

The Air China 747-400s can nowadays only be caught on domestic flights. As of the time of writing this article, they seem to be mainly used on the Beijing – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Beijing – Shanghai routes. Equipment changes to 747-8is and 777-300ERs are not uncommon, though.

As for the 747-8i, you can fly it internationally between Beijing and San Francisco, and Beijing and New York among other routes. It also makes appearances on high-density domestic flights including on the Beijing – Shanghai route mentioned above.

Air China Boeing 747-400


Air India Boeing 747-400

Air India operates a fleet of four 747-400s. Besides being still used on regular passenger flights, the Air India 747 can also be seen operating as “AI1” every now and then, transporting the country’s top-level officials.

On scheduled flights, the aircraft can be flown a couple of times a week on the domestic Mumbai – Hyderabad route for about 40 USD one-way. Separately, it can also be caught three times a week between Hyderabad and Jeddah, and four times a week between Cochin and Jeddah.

Other than that, the aircraft only seems to be used as a back-up plane and for charter flights.

Air India Boeing 747-400


Asiana Airlines Boeing 747-400

Besides a fleet of 747 freighters, Asiana Airlines also keeps two passenger 747-400s active.

Currently, Asiana Airlines regularly schedules the aircraft on four regional routes: from Seoul Incheon to Manila in the Philippines, Taipei Taoyuan in Taiwan, and Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang in Vietnam.

Asiana Airlines Boeing 747-400


Atlas Air Boeing 747-400

Atlas Air, besides operating more than 10 cargo 747-400s, also operates four in passenger configuration. And, while two of those are used mainly for US military charters, two – N263SG and N322SG – are used on scheduled flights between Houston, Texas and Luanda, Angola as well.

While the route – nicknamed “Houston Express” – might seem quite random at first, it has been connecting the oil industry in the two countries for decades. The service which Atlas Air operates on behalf of Sonair three-times a week was initially only been available for workers in the oil industry.

It was reported, though, that the flight opened up to general public from May 2017. However, I cannot access Sonair’s website nor find the flights in the usual booking engines – and as such, I have no clue as to how much a flight on the route would cost or how to book it.

2019 UPDATE: The “Houston Express” was cancelled in 2018 eliminating any opportunity of flying on Atlas Air’s 747s on scheduled flights.

Atlas Air Boeing 747-400


British Airways Boeing 747-400

With 34 Boeing 747-400s still in service, British Airways is the largest remaining passenger 747 operator in the world. And, while the airline plans to retire half of its 747 fleet by 2021, it plans to keep the type in operation until February 2024. Recently, it also painted three of the Queens in retro liveries.

Given that the 747 is the second most common wide-body aircraft in British Airways’ fleet after the 777-200ER, it is fairly easy to catch.

Among other routes, it currently connects London Heathrow with New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, Dubai, Beijing, and Cape Town.

British Airways Boeing 747-400


China Airlines Boeing 747-400

With over 20 Jumbos in its fleet, China Airlines is a major operator of the type. However, only four of those are in passenger configuration. The good news is that the four passenger 747-400s were delivered fairly recently – in 2005 and 2006 – and include the last passenger 747-400 ever built.

And, in spite of the fact that China Airlines has been receiving new, more efficient, planes recently, the airline has no immediate plans to retire the Jumbos. As such, we can expect the aircraft to be around for quite some time.

While in the past, the 747 was the airline’s workhorse frequenting routes to the US and Europe, nowadays, it is only used on intra-Asian routes.

The routes that the China Airlines 747-400 can be flown on regularly include flights from Taipei to Naha, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

China Airlines Boeing 747-400


Corsair Boeing 747-400

The French charter airline that is part of TUI group, Corsair operates a fleet of three 747-400s out of its base at Paris Orly airport.

The Corsair 747s can be caught on flights between Paris Orly and the fairly exotic destinations of:

  • Saint-Denis (Reunion)
  • Pointe-a-Pitre (Guadeloupe)
  • Port Louis (Mauritius)
  • Fort-de-France (Martinique, until the first week of May 2018).


El Al Boeing 747-400

El Al from Israel operates one 747-400 freighter, as well as four of the type in passenger configuration. Unfortunately, with new 787s having joined the airline’s fleet, the older aircraft in its fleet including the 747s are expected to be retired shortly.

In fact, El Al expects to retire its four passenger Queens by the end of 2019. Until that time, you can enjoy them regularly on flights between Tel Aviv and New York, Bangkok, Paris, and London. Unlike in the past, there are more and more days in the schedule on those routes served with the newer types, though.

El Al Boeing 747-400


Iraqi Airways Boeing 747-400

The national carrier of Iraq, Iraqi Airways, reportedly operates a pair of 747-400s: YI-ASA and YI-AQQ. However, I could only track the former of those, with “AQQ” having no history on FlightRadar24 and almost no photos on the Internet. (It might be used solely for Hajj charters between not so spotter-friendly destinations.)

As for scheduled flights, there seem to be none that are regularly operated by the 747-400. YI-ASA can be seen substituting for other aircraft on occasion, though I wouldn’t count on catching it that way.


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747-400

Even KLM, the airline that writes about “4 good reasons to love the Boeing 747” on its blog, is in the process of slowly phasing out its 747s, planning to retire all of them by 2021. At the moment, KLM has a fleet of more than 10 Boeing 747-400s (including “combis”) left, though.

In 2019, the blue 747 can regularly be flown between Amsterdam and:

  • The Americas: Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York JFK, Paramaribo, San Francisco, Toronto, Willemstad (Curacao)
  • Asia: Hong Kong, Seoul
  • Africa: Nairobi

KLM Boeing 747-400


Korean Air Boeing 747-400 & 747-8i

Korean Air still operates two passenger 747-400s, on top of freighters. But, it also operates ten of the latest 747-8i. As such, just like the Air China Jumbos, the light blue passenger 747s are here to stay – at least in some form – for a long time.

Until recently, Korean Air used to operate the 747-400 on, among others, its route between Seoul Gimpo and Jeju – the world’s busiest air route. Alas, the the Korean Jumbos cannot be caught domestically anymore.

Instead, in 2018 (until March 24), the Korean Air “dash four hundred” can be flown between Seoul Incheon and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. There seem to be no other regularly scheduled routes with the type, but let us know in the comments if you know any others.

2019 UPDATE: While Korean Air still keeps its 747-400s active on a daily basis, the aircraft currently don’t seem to be regularly scheduled on any routes. Instead, they seem to be used as substitute aircraft on a wide variety of routes. Among others, the aircraft has appeared on flights from Seoul to Prague, Manila, Osaka, Tokyo, and Shenyang.

The “-8i” is much easier to catch, of course. It can be caught on flights connecting Seoul Incheon with places such as Atlanta, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, Honolulu, and Frankfurt.

Korean Air Boeing 747-400


Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 & 747-8i

Together with Air China and Korean Air, Lufthansa is one of the only three airlines to operate the passenger version of the 747-8i (19 aircraft). And, similarly to the other two airlines, it also keeps a fleet of the older 747-400s (13 aircraft).

With Lufthansa, the two subtypes of the 747 can be caught, among other routes, on flights between Frankfurt and the following:

  • Boeing 747-400: Mumbai, Orlando, Osaka, Rio de Janeiro , Seoul , Shanghai, Tehran, Toronto, Vancouver
  • Boeing 747-8i: Bangalore, Boston, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Mexico City, New York JFK, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Washington D.C.

Lufthansa Boeing 747-400


Mahan Air Boeing 747-300

While the rest of the list consists of Boeing 747-400s and 747-8is, Mahan Air is the last airline in the world to operate the 747 Classic (more precisely 747-300) on scheduled passenger flights. Or it was…

I had a chance to fly the aircraft between Mashad and Tehran back in November 2016, and until recently, it could regularly be seen operating flights between the two cities. However, according to FlightRadar24, the aircraft flew for the last time on November 20, 2017, with the flights it used to operate being operated by the A300 and A310 now.

I hope the aircraft is just under maintenance rather than retired.

2019 UPDATE: The aircraft has gone in and out of service (most likely for maintenance) a couple of times in the past, however, as of republishing this article, it seems to be back in service on domestic routes in Iran.

If you have any additional information about this aircraft, let us know in the comments.

Mahan Air Boeing 747-300


Qantas Boeing 747-400

Qantas operates a fleet of eight Boeing 747-400s. What makes the airline interesting, though, is that it is the world’s sole operator of the “ER” variant of the 747-400. More precisely, Qantas operates six of the 747-400ERs and two of the regular 747-400s.

Qantas operates the 747 out of Sydney. Currently, it connects the largest Australian city with Honolulu, Johannesburg, San Francisco, Santiago de Chile, Tokyo Haneda, and Vancouver.  The San Francisco 747 service is expected to end in December leaving Qantas with no 747 service in the US mainland beyond that point.

Qantas Boeing 747-400


Rossiya Airlines Boeing 747-400

Rossiya Airlines, a fully-owned subsidiary of Aeroflot, acquired Transaero’s fleet of Boeing 747-400s upon its demise. And, currently, it operates nine airframes of the type.

The aircraft are based at Moscow Vnukovo airport, and seem to mainly be used on flights to holiday destinations (Bangkok, Phuket, Antalya, Punta Cana, Goa, etc.) and as substitute aircraft on a variety of routes when the capacity is needed.

However, Rossiya also schedules the 747 on some of its trans-Siberian domestic flights including Moscow Vnukovo – Khabarovsk and Moscow Vnukovo – Vladivostok.


Thai Airways Boeing 747-400

Thai Airways still operates a fleet of ten Boeing 747-400s. While it mainly uses the aircraft on international flights, the aircraft can also be caught on domestic routes – especially between Bangkok and Phuket – regularly.

As for the international flights, the following are some of the destinations that can be reached on the Thai Airways 747-400 from Bangkok: Bali, Mumbai, Munich, Seoul, Sydney, and Tokyo Haneda.

Thai Airways Boeing 747-400


Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400

While Virgin Atlantic – just like other airlines on this list – has been reducing the number of 747-400s in its fleet, it still operates eight airframes of the type.

Not long ago, the Virgin Atlantic 747s used to be a common sight at London Heathrow, but nowadays they only regularly operate out of London Gatwick and Manchester.

In 2019, Virgin Atlantic routes operated by the Boeing 747-400 include the following:

  • London Gatwick to Bridgetown, Cancun, Montego Bay, and Orlando
  • Manchester to Atlanta, New York, and Orlando
  • Glasgow to Orlando


Wamos Air Boeing 747-400

Spanish operator Wamos Air, the successor of Pullmantur Air, maintains a fleet of five Boeing 747-400s. The aircraft mostly operate charter flights – both on behalf of tour operators as well as other airlines.

However, the Wamos Jumbos can also be flown regularly on the following two routes:

  • Madrid – Cancun
  • Madrid – Punta Cana

Wamos Air Boeing 747-400


Summary of the Remaining Boeing 747 Routes

With the total number of Boeing 747 operators on scheduled passenger routes going down, and with many airlines that used to be major operators of the type – such as Delta Air Lines and Air France – putting the type out of service, it is getting more and more difficult to catch.

However, even then, there are still plenty of routes – some of which are pictured on the map below – that the Queen of the Skies can be flown on.

Remaining Boeing 747 RoutesMap generated using Great Circle Mapper.

If you plan to take the Boeing 747 from Europe, America, Africa, or Australia, you will be largely limited to long haul flights. On the other hand, if you are looking at taking the Boeing 747 from Asia, you might be able to get on one of the shorter, regional or even domestic, routes on the type.

Luckily, from the plane spotting point-of-view, even after the passenger 747s are retired by airlines, the cargo version of the “-400” will be around for quite a while, and so will some of the Jumbos serving as governmental aircraft – including the aircraft with the world’s most famous callsign, Air Force One.

Do you plan to fly on the type in 2019? If so, with which airline?

Do you know about any other scheduled routes operated by the Queen of the Skies?

Let us know in the comments section below.

46 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Flying on the Boeing 747 in 2019: Remaining Airlines and Routes”

  1. This is a great guide. As the list becomes shorter no doubt we will see enthusiasts become sentimental and planning for a last flight, although it’s a few years off yet.
    I did the same with my favourite plane ( Lockheed L-1011 Tristar) after flying frequently on them for 25 years, mostly Cathay, some ANA…now only found in museums.

  2. REALLY good article I have NEVER flown with a 747 but I want to give this article a bookmark so I can ALWAYS find it and find out where to fly in September, probably I’ve never been odd 747, but that is completely ready my favorite machine found on this land and I hope to see 748 for many years to come and hopefully fly with them, right now I only go after 747-400 to get the first flight with it believe that the right variant!

  3. My last flight with B747-400 was MNL-TPE in january 2016 with EVA Air. I’m planning to fly for first time with B747-8i: Prague-Incheon with Korean Air.

  4. I saw BA 747-400 at SAN in November 2017. Awesome plane! Seems like the good ole planes are going away…L 1011 was my personal favorite but was not able to fly it. So I’m going to fly 747-400 before it goes away for good! ?? Y’all should do the same. You never know what you miss until you miss it! LoL

  5. Hello,

    I am half Persian and just letting you guys know that Mahan Air is still operating the 747-300 From Tehran to Mashad. My aunt took this flight today on, April 15, 2018. I’m very glad the flight is still in service.

  6. British Airways operates a 747 daily to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from London-Heathrow. It is British Airways Flight 67

  7. Qantas between SYD and JFK via LAX (both directions) is 747-400 for the U.S. leg and A380 trans-Pacific, except for Tuesday departures (as of 2018) when the 747 flies the full route.

  8. I had the opportunity to fly in this iconic aircraft many times during my work. I felt this was the quietest aircraft to fly at 37000, 38000 feet at 600 mph. One of the airliners used to call their upperdeck “megatop”. Once or twice I got upgraded to the upperdeck and could see the big wings flex during turbulence but never felt safer sitting inside this aircraft. I still fly it once in a while but nowadays it is mainly 777s or 340s. I will miss flying in this aircraft.

  9. I fly in B747 on TG203 from BKK to HKT here 27 September, i verry love this aircraft.

    But i have been free upgraded to Upper Deck on the JumboJet because of my aircraft from Copenhagen has been delayd so i have miss my original flight.

  10. Hi, I would like to experience flying in a 747-400 before it is grounded for good. So may i know which airlines flies 747-400 series ex KLIA? Pls revert asap, TQ, Rgds

  11. Just back from Hong Kong on Qantas got 747 400 both ways good old jumbo !! thanks to the crew on QF127 and 128 for letting me view the flight deck also it be replaced by 789 by December I I hope fly on Thai 747 next year if it still operating

  12. Great guide, just wanted to add that you do not need to fly anywhere in order to experience “the queen of the skies” if you ever pass by ARN and have a layover, you can sleep in one as well…….or you can even just take the free shuttle and have an ice cream sitting on the outdoor cafe on the wings…..overlooking the runway….

    I often stay at the Radisson next door, and it is pretty cool to go and have dinner in a 747….

    It is an old 747-200 that used to fly for Singapore and Pan Am, now it is a hostel, hotel, cafe and sits right off the runway (landside), story is that the last owner went bankrupt and they just dragged the plane from holding to the current location……..seems like there are pictures of that in the media section.

  13. Hey, just to add, Lufthansa has a regular 744 route to Philadelphia as well. It used to be an A340 but that was momentarily replaced by an A333 which has now been replaced by the 744, indefinitely. There was even a 748 a couple weeks ago to Philly. Flight LH426. Great article!!!

    Philly also sees regular 744 traffic from British Airways on flight BA67.

  14. Thank you for this article. After checking on your previous version, I am now scheduled to fly Thai Airways HKT – BKK return with B747 this coming weekend. First time with the queen and it’s booked only for the queen! Hope they will not change the aircraft last minute!

    1. Hi Zoe, thanks for your comment – hope your flight will be operated by the Jumbo as scheduled. Enjoy!

  15. Thanks for the article!
    This winter British Airways will start flying the 787-9 on the LHR-PHX route, it was using the 747-400.

  16. It looks like KLM will quit flying the 747 to Chicago soon. My flight from Chicago to Amsterdam on Christmas was changed from a 747 to a 787 as was the return in January.

  17. I am attempting to compile a list of each airline that operated the Boeing 747-400 and in particular would like to know the launch route of every 744 operator.

    1. Hi Don, do you mean a flight within Europe? Not sure there are any operating at this point. British Airways was supposed to do some to celebrate their 100th anniversary, but those have been cancelled.

  18. Philippine Airlines were planning to use their new 747-400s they had on order for flights to Europe in 1995 .

    What routes were those going to be?

  19. I was stationed at Paine AFB, Everett, WA where the 747 was built. I saw the roll-out of the first model in September, 1968. I’ve flown to New Zealand, Hawaii, Guam, Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong on various 747s. In about 1976, I flew all the way around the world on Pan AM #1…… several 747s. Absolutely marvelous aircraft. I was privileged to fly first class on many of those trips, so I was very literally spoiled by the experience. Today’s air travel is just plain awful. It is sad to see them phased out…………but then, I’m getting old, too. I guess my “phase out” will happen, too!

  20. SFO-AMS on KL next week, returning a week later. I specifically booked the 747 options for both legs. Lower deck there, upper deck back.

    KL better not change the aircraft on me or I’ll be very unhappy as I finally get to cross this one off my bucket list.

    1. Two KLM 747 updates.
      SFO-AMS no longer 747 end of Oct 2019. Replaced with either 777 or 787
      LAX-AMS no longer daily after 3/2020. Will be 3x/wk, other days either 777 or 787

  21. I fell in love with aircraft because of the 747.. the last time I flew in one was back when Cathay Pacific still flew them LHR – HKG. There is just this feeling about walking into an aircraft then going up the stairs.

    I have yet to try the 787-8 and really keen on giving it a go (long or short). Does any airline currently fly them in and out of DXB?

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