One of two remaining South African Airways (SAA) Boeing 747SPs flew for the last time today on an domestic flight between the airline's Johannesburg hub and Rand where the airline's growing aviation museum is housed.

The aircraft (ZS-SPC, christened "Maluti") flew this morning (pictured below) just after dawn after standing at Johannesburg international for nearly three years. SAA donated this 747SP to the SAA museum society in Rand, in the south of the city.

SAA 747SP 01 W445
All photos © Hannes Meyer
 SA 747SP 02 W445
 SAA 747SP 03 W445

Maluti suffered setbacks, delays, and red tape before being cleared for ferry transport betwene the two airports, 55km (30miles) apart. ZS-SPC is one of two Boeing 747SPs still in SAA's colours. The other, ZS-SPE, is likely to be scrapped.

Rand airport, formerly Johannesburg's main airport, has narrow runways requiring extra training for the crew, which had to approved by the country's aviation safety agency. The ferry flight had originally been scheduled for November or December of last yearbut the SAA Museum Society has had to sort out an outstanding tax bill for the transferred aircraft ownership.

The aircraft was delivered in 1976 and is one of six SPs flown by SAA the South African carrier and was in service until 1984, after which date it was leased to Air Mauritius, Avia and Air Namibia before returning to the SAA fleet in late 1999. The aircraft was retired in 2003.