Philippine Airlines: Last 747 Flight to San Francisco on June 30

Philippine Airlines will operate Boeing 747-400 flights to San Francisco for the last time on June 30, 2014.  The news follows the deployment of Philippine Airlines' more fuel-efficient twin-engine Boeing 777-300ER to the Bay Area on May 9 serving the route on a part-time basis.  Flights PR104 and PR105 are currently scheduled to fly using the modern 370-seat Boeing 777 aircraft on Tuesdays and Fridays, with the jumbo jet serving for the remainder of the week.  After June 30, the Boeing 777 is expected to take over the route full-time. 

philippine airlines 777 flagship
Image Source: Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines will also fly a Boeing 747-400 to Xiamen on May 23.  PR340 will depart Manila for Xiamen at 2:40 pm, and return to Manila at 5:55 pm on the same day.  Although it is initially scheduled to be a one-time event, this could change.  It is also unclear whether other destinations in the PAL network will see the Boeing 747-400 before the aircraft permanently leaves the fleet. 

Philippine Airlines is in the midst of retiring its Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which has been with the PAL fleet for more than 20 years.  The first aircraft was delivered on November 21, 1993, carrying former President Fidel Ramos, who was coming home from an official visit to the United States. 

The second 747-400 to be delivered to Philippine Airlines, RP-C7472, was flown from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Clark International Airport on May 10 for retirement.  It now accompanies other retired  aircraft in the PAL fleet including Airbus A330's and A340's. 

Earlier this week, Philippine Airlines held a retirement ceremony for its Boeing 747-400 aircraft.  The event featured a Boeing 747-400 and a Boeing 777-300ER side-by-side.  The ceremony marked a symbolic passing of the batonto the Boeing 777-300ER, where it effectively became the new flagship aircraft of Philippine Airlines.  Guests included PAL Chairman Lucio Tan, PAL President Ramon Ang, Boeing Sales Director Dan Schull, Boeing SVP for Global Sales John Wojick, and Boeing Marketing Director Mike Carson.  Philippine music stars Martin Nivera and Karylle were also in attendance. 

philippines airlines 777 flagship
Copyright Photo: Bob Reyes/PPSG
PAL ordered the Boeing 777-300ER in 2006 to replace the ageing Boeing 747-400, particularly on routes to the mainland United States.  The hope was that by using modern aircraft, the airline would be able to reduce its fuel and maintenance costs.  However, the plan to deploy the aircraft was delayed when the United States Federal Aviation Administration downgraded the Philippinesaviation safety rating to Category 2 status in 2008.  The rating prevented any carrier in the Philippines from expanding existing US operations, and substituting aircraft types already operating to the United States.  Category 1 was eventually restored on April 10, 2014.  This finally enabled PAL to deploy its modern 777 fleet to Los Angeles on May 3 and a week later to San Francisco.

Keep visiting Philippine Flight Network for continuing coverage on the retirement of PAL's Boeing 747 fleet.



  1. PAL is using the 747 to Xiamen to pick up the GS/HS Filipino students Lucio Tan sponsored to study in Xiamen over the summer for 2 months. That's why this is a one time event.

  2. How about Vancouver for final Boeing 747 flight? It's good.


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