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Delta plans Northwest hub tour for 747 farewell

Delta Air Lines plans to fly its final Boeing 747 to former Northwest Airlines hubs next month, after the type completes its last international service on 17 December.

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Delta Air Lines

The Atlanta-based carrier will fly the 747-400 from Detroit to Seattle on 18 December, Seattle to Atlanta on 19 December and Atlanta to Minneapolis/St Paul on 20 December as part of a farewell tour, it says today. Seats on the flights will be open to employees and members of its SkyMiles frequent flier programme.

Detroit and Minneapolis were primary hubs for Northwest, which merged with Delta in 2009, and Seattle was a focus city.

When the tour is over, the last passenger 747 in the USA will exit scheduled service after 47 years. United Airlines, the only other US 747 operator, retired its last of the type earlier in November.

Delta's last regularly scheduled 747 flight will operate from Seoul Incheon to Detroit on 17 December, arriving at the Michigan airport at 11:15 local time that day.

The route will be flown by the airline's new flagship Airbus A350-900 from 17 December.

Delta plans to operate the 747 on a "handful" of sports team and other charters through the end of December, before flying it to storage in the Arizona desert in early January 2018, it says.

The 747 is among 16 -400s that Delta inherited from Northwest through the carriers' merger. It previously operated the 747-100 from 1970 to 1976, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

Delta operates six 747-400s, all of which will exit service by the end of the year, Fleets Analyzer shows.

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