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Homecoming for 'Queen of the Skies' Boeing 747 retired by Air India

It has arrived at Seattle Paine Field International Airport to be dismantled for parts. Last year, the aircraft was de-registered by the DGCA and underwent a transformation, including removal of Air India insignia and titles, before receiving a temporary American registration, N940AS.

Homecoming for 'Queen of the Skies' Boeing 747 retired by Air India
First Published Apr 23, 2024, 10:32 AM IST

The Boeing 747, which belonged to Air India and departed from Mumbai's airport for the final time after it was sold to a foreign company, has arrived at the Seattle Paine Field International Airport, for being dismantled for parts. Monday marked the end of an era for the iconic jumbo jet that was once registered as VT-EVA and christened as 'Agra'.

Last year, the aircraft was de-registered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) upon retirement. Its transformation commenced as the Air India insignia and titles were removed, paving the way for a temporary American registration, N940AS, facilitating its departure from its former base.

Also Read: Air India's iconic Boeing 747 bids farewell with spectacular 'Wing Wave' in final flight from Mumbai (WATCH)

At 10:47 am, the pilots overseeing the aircraft performed a “Wing Wave,” an aviation tradition signifying retiring or concluding flights, above the skies of Santa Cruz.

Announcing the development on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), Sisira Kanta Dash, Chief Technical Officer of Air India Ltd, expressed gratitude, stating, “The queen VT-EVA, Boeing 747-400, new Reg N940AS leaving BOM-PAE. Lots of effort, many meetings. Many people working behind the scenes to make this happen. Thank you all.”

Following the post, users flooded X with accounts of their first experiences aboard the flight.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that the airline now possesses four Boeing 747-400 aircraft, with new owners in the US, including AerSale, a global supplier of aftermarket commercial jet engines and related parts. One of the two Boeing 747 aircraft in good condition departed from Mumbai on Monday morning, with the other expected to follow suit soon. The remaining two Boeing 747 planes will be disassembled in Mumbai for parts.

These aircraft were formerly utilized for international flights catering to top dignitaries such as the president, prime minister, and vice president, as reported by PTI.

Commercial aircraft, comprising approximately 800 to 1,000 recyclable parts, are typically dismantled at aircraft recycling centres, with non-metallic parts devoid of recycling value discarded, and metal alloy parts sorted based on their composition, according to a paper on commercial aircraft disassembly by Fortune Business Insights.

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