EVERETT — This is it, the final farewell to the majestic Boeing 747-400 in the United States. Delta Air Lines (DL) is ending 47 years of continuous and unstoppable service with a set of Farewell Flights across the airline’s most important hubs.

The 747 flew in from the airline’s hub in Detroit (DTW) and landed in Paine Field (PAE) at 09:15 a.m, where professional photographers, videographers, aviation enthusiasts, and local spotters immortalized the moment with hundreds of photos under a typical Northwestern rainy sky.

As the airplane taxied into the old delivery center, attendees gathered at the main atrium where a few remarks were given by Boeing and Delta executives.

Bruce Dickinson, VP General Manager of 747 Program, introduced the farewell event by “Welcoming Home” the Delta 747-400—to the place where it was built in 1999.

“I want to thank the Delta Family, their frequent flyers, and everyone involved for making this happen. We all have a story with this airplane. A lot of emotion involved,” he said.

A month ago, Delta announced that it would do a number of farewell flights before the 747’s retirement between some of its leading hubs around the country. This announcement came in one week after United retired its Boeing 747 aircraft.

Read More: Farewell Friend Ship 747: Final Curtain Call For United’s 747-400

“This 747 tour is about the people… It’s about the people at Boeing,” said Tony Gonchar, Delta’s Vice President of the Seattle base. “You are the minds and hearts that built the most iconic aircraft in the world. When you think of iconic things, the Boeing 747 is on top of the list.”

“This airplane has connected us to the world and brought the world to us,” Gonchar added.

Both the airline and the manufacturer organized a unique session in which the attendees were given a chance to take photos in front of the aircraft, and even sign their names on the 747’s fuselage.

At the event, employees from both Delta and Boeing, as well as a few lucky Delta frequent flyers who bid as many as 630,000 SkyMiles to attend, were lucky enough to pay their respects to the retiring Queen.

Former Northwest flight attendants used their old uniforms and posed happily at various locations in front of the 747.

The second leg of the tour will take the majestic airliner down to Sea-Tac International Airport, and continue the tour onwards to Atlanta with Delta employees and the Airways team onboard, early tomorrow morning (December 19). Later on, the last Farewell Flight will take place to Minneapolis-St. Paul on December 20.

The Queen of Skies heads to Los Angeles on Tuesday for an event at the Flight Path Museum and then on to College Football Bowl charter duty until January 3, 2018. The aircraft will retire to a warm climate in the desert: Marana, Arizona.

Captain Paul Gallagher will fly last 747 into the desert at Mariana, AZ; it will be his last flight before retirement.”This plane was a flying building. A village. As sweet as she was with 400 people, this was like home. There will never be another plane like it.”

The parts of the Queen will be harvested and she will be broken up for a scrap.

Tim Steele – General Manager TechOps stated: “This airplane drew a lot of talent. I led the crews that inducted 6603, the first 747-400 delivered to an airline. Maybe with it retiring, it’s telling me something. Enjoy the house that Richard (Anderson) built.”

Following the event, the quick hop from Paine Field to Seattle-Tacoma was expected to depart at 12:25 PM local time. However, deteriorating weather conditions delayed the departure for almost two hours.

Read More: Onboard the Final Scheduled Flight of the Very First Boeing 747-400

The aircraft departed PAE at 1:22 PM and, after 12 minutes in the air, at a low altitude of 3,000ft, it landed at SeaTac concluding this part of the Farewell Tour.

Delta’s Boeing 747-400 by the Numbers

The retiring aircraft flying the tour is a Boeing 747-451 (N674US • MSN 30269 / LN 1232), originally delivered to Northwest Airlines in October 1999. Since then, the aircraft has flown more than 61 million miles and carried hundreds of millions of passengers around the globe.

Delta took delivery of its first Boeing 747 on October 2, 1970. The airliner joined a fleet of DC-10s and L-1011s, changing the way people traveled during that decade. In all, the airline operated thirty-five 747s, of which 21 were 747-400s.

N674US was the 1,232nd 747-400 off the Everett assembly line. It was delivered from Everett on October 18, 1999, to be finally rolled out on September 13, 1999.

Its customer number is 6314, and the Boeing serial number is 30269. The line No. is 1232, and the airplane ID is RM244.

The total number of operators the aircraft had was 72, and the total estimated of flights are 13,035,302. It carried approximately 4,132,862,158 passengers and the estimated miles flown are 39,203,694,799. That’s about 94,439 roundtrips to the moon.


Since 1969, Boeing has delivered over 1500 Boeing 747s to different carriers across the globe.

The full Delta 747 fleet has logged 900 million miles or 36,000 trips around the earth. Delta Air Lines will retire all of its Boeing 747-400 aircraft by the end of this year.

Tomorrow, Farewell Flight to Atlanta

Monday Night, Delta’s 747 Farewell Tour made stop number 2 as a homecoming to where it was born: the Seattle area.

This party was really held for Delta and Northwest employees who have lived with the 747 for its 47-year history. It was not a public event or really open to the press.

The party and 747 Farewell hasn’t been without its critics in the wake of Sunday’s fire and a power failure at the airline’s Atlanta hub. This resulted in hundreds of canceled operations and thousands of displaced passengers, even as much of the schedule operated on Monday.

READ MORE: UPDATED: Atlanta, The World’s Busiest Airport, Suffers Major Blackout

A full day delay of the extra “added final 747 revenue flight” from Detroit didn’t help matters. But tonight was a night of celebration and morale which matters.


However, Christie L’Allier, Delta Flight Attendant said: “This plane is our story. We have immense gratitude to destinations we never could have imagined in our wildest dreams. For many of these pilots, this plane is their finale. I remember the 17th flight attendant taking naps in the overhead crew closet.”


Departing at 06:00 AM local time, Delta will fly the 747 to its home base in Atlanta. Airways will be on board transmitting live. Follow all our social media feeds!