KLM will stop flying the 747 to St. Maarten, last flight Oct 28th 2016

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For many years (Ed), KLM has been flying the 747 to St Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport (SXM). The airport’s runway is known for its proximity to the beach, and is one of the most famous spot for plane watching. If you are on the beach, planes will literally fly right over your head before landing. It’s a sight to behold, and a double decker Boeing 747 with four engines just make it that much cooler.

Some have called this the “scariest landing,” and I think that might apply to both the pilots and the people on the beach!

KLM 747 landing in St. Maarten. Photo by Aurimas/Flickr, used with permission.

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KLM 747 landing in St. Maarten. Photo by Aurimas/Flickr, used with permission.

But one of the world’s coolest landing might be getting (slightly) less cool, since KLM will no longer be flying the Boeing 747 to St Maarten airport. Starting October 30, the flight will be operated by an Airbus 330 instead. This means October 28 is the last day a KLM 747 will make its dramatic landing. You can follow the flight, KL 785, which is scheduled to arrive at St Maarten at 10:55 am (also 10:55 ET). You can watch planes arrive live via the Maho Beach cam.

KLM 747 landing in St Maarten Maho Beach. Photo by alljengi/Flickr, used with permission.

KLM 747 landing in St Maarten Maho Beach. Photo by alljengi/Flickr, used with permission.

Air France will still be flying the A340 (with four engines) on flight AF 498 to the airport, with a scheduled arrival time of 2 pm. There have also been chartered flights operated by the Boeing 747 flying to or from at the airport, so this isn’t a hard goodbye. Frankly, I think any landing that close to the beach will be absolutely dramatic and breathtaking to see. However, this will mark the end of a commercial, regularly scheduled 747 appearance at the airport!

Source: http://pointmetotheplane.boardingarea.com/2016/10/24/cool-landing-klm-747-st-maarten/

3 COMMENTS

  1. Readers would like to know the reason instead of repeating the headline. Whow knows the reason behind it and the potential impact on tourism?

    • The 747 is being retired because they are getting older and airlines are moving to more efficient long range twin engine jets like the Boeing 777, 787 and Airbus A350 and updated A330 models. These newer jets are more fuel efficient and allow direct flights without stopovers. Even airbus massive A380 isn’t selling that well. There are a few articles and videos online. Google “747 retirement” and you’ll find a lot of info. As for affecting tourism, nah. All the airlines that have already retired their Jumbos are using 777s and 330s/350s just fine.

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