Qantas’ last Boeing 747-400 is having her swansong this week. After 17 years of flying for Qantas, VH-OEJ Wunala is the last jumbo jet left at the airline. Next week, it is flying off into its last sunset. It will be the end of the line of the Queen of the skies at the Australian airline after 49 years of continuous flying.
At least Qantas hasn’t let the iconic plane disappear quietly. This week, Wunala has operated a series of joy flights for paying passengers and employees keen to get their final fix of nostalgia.
A series of 747 joy flights this week
On Monday, the plane flew a series of loops over the Sydney region. On Wednesday, it took Brisbane-based passengers for a run over the Gold Coast and up to the Sunshine Coast. On Friday morning, the Qantas Lounge in Canberra will be filled to bursting with folks skipping work to take the joy flight out of Canberra.
In between, keen planespotters have had the chance to see Wunala pre-positioning. Today’s Canberra joy flight is operating at lunchtime. Mid-morning, the plane is flying down to Canberra from Sydney. It is returning at 17:00 this afternoon. Unfortunately, the positioning flights are not carrying passengers.
Retro bags, red wine, and blazers
By all accounts, the socially distanced passengers had a good time on the two joy flights flown so far. There was plenty of champagne, and everyone got a goodies bag, including a retro Qantas carry on bag the kids pay now big money for in op-shops. There were also complimentary bottles of red. Perhaps that was a throwback to when the old school flight stewards liberally poured drinks all the way to London.