Japan Airlines, once the largest operator of the Boeing 747, has retired the aircraft entirely from its fleet. Symbolizing the carrier’s downsizing amid bankruptcy protection, the 747 has left Japan Airlines’ service to be replaced with smaller aircraft. The last two services by the type were flown on March 1, arriving at Tokyo from Honolulu and Okinawa.
Japan Airlines has operated 112 747s since taking delivery of its first, a 747-100, in 1970. As recently as 2007 it still had 70 of the aircraft, making it by far the biggest 747 operator. At that time, it was already accelerating retirements of the type in favor of Boeing 777s and 767s.