KLM to end iconic 747 landing


All photo credits: alljengi via Flickr.

It is a planespotter’s dream and one of the more iconic sights in the world – a Boeing 747 coming in to land at Princess Juliana International Airport in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin.

The event of KLM’s huge 747 aircraft touching down at an airport renowned for having the ‘world’s scariest landing’ is a delight for holidaymakers. Many gather on Maho Beach and watch in awe as the huge plane passes mere metres overhead before landing on the tiny island.

Sadly, it looks as if this event is coming to an end. The Dutch airline has announced that it will be replacing the 747 planes with an Airbus 330 on its Amsterdam-St Maarten route. The final service will fly from the Netherlands to the Caribbean on October 30th before being replaced by the single-decker aircraft.

While the move means that holidaymakers will still be able to be able to watch huge aircraft fly overhead as they approach the airport, it won’t have the same magic as the Boeing 747. The jumbo jet was once the largest of its kind before being overtaken by the double-decker Airbus 380.

Boeing recently suggested that it could phase out the 747 due to waning orders. Over 1,500 of the iconic aircraft have been built since its launch in 1969 but the shelving of flights to St Maarten could be a sign of things to come.

Speaking to Reuters, Boeing said: “If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.”

St Maarten is considered to be one of the scariest landings in the world with planes having to descend close to the beach before making it onto the runway.

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