More than four and a half decades after its debut with Air France, the Boeing 747 says au revoir with a special tribute flight over France, scheduled to be on January 14.

The airline has announced a special flight for those fans of the famous “Jumbo Jet.” This single flight, number AF747, will take off from Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) for a two-hour flight in which a champagne lunch and a in-flight commentary including a tour of France’s history and legendary landmarks will be offered on board. Back in Roissy, it will be complemented by a visit to the maintenance hangar followed by a tribute drink at the foot of the aircraft.

For those who prefer to book the last Air France 747 scheduled flight, it has been scheduled on January 11, between Mexico City and Paris. The aircraft, registered F-GITI is expected to arrive to CDG at 13:30 local Paris time, putting the Air France Jumbo era to an end.

Since the early seventies, the Boeing 747 has been a showcase of modern innovations and has revolutionized air transport. Air travel became more widespread and we entered an era of mass transportation. For cargo, the Boeing 747 offered a cargo space four times larger than the previous generation of Boeing, the 707. It could carry 122 tons of cargo.

The first Air France 747 flight took place on June 3, 1970 on the Paris – New York route. In the cabin, Air France started innovating to better serve its customers. The role of chief purser was created to coordinate the service and attention paid to customers in this aircraft which could carry up to 500 passengers. Inflight cuisine was of great importance, with menus designed by great French chefs: Paul Bocuse, Gaston Len├┤tre and Pierre Troisgros, who forged exclusive partnerships with Air France. Finally, the cabin interior was designed by Pierre Gautier-Delaye, who paid particular attention to the comfort of the seat cushions and seatbacks.

During the boomdays of sugar, Negrenses would fondly hop on these 747s not from Manila but from New York.  We all know a few Francophiles who will really miss this.

Au revoir.

Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.