KLM has announced the Boeing 747 Combi will return to service with cargo-only flights.
KLM has announced it will relaunch 747 Combi flights as part of an agreement with Royal Philips and the Dutch government to create a special cargo air bridge between the Netherlands and China.
Beginning April 13, KLM will launch cargo-only flights from Amsterdam to both Beijing and Shanghai using the 747 Combi. KLM will return two 747 Combis to service, but it’s currently unconfirmed which registrations will be flying.
AMS to Beijing will operate 2x weekly while AMS to Shanghai will operate 3x weekly. These flights will add 250 tonnes of extra cargo capacity each way per week.
These 747 Combi flights will last for six to eight weeks, carrying crucial medical supplies from China to the Netherlands.
Ironically, the day before the KLM 747 retirement, I posted this video on why KLM should cancel or at least postpone 747 retirement.
The quick summary of it is that a former KLM executive, Stan Wraight, wrote a letter to KLM requesting the airline to postpone the 747 retirement as the aircraft would be crucial for the upcoming period in redistributing medical supplies. Looks like it came true. You can view the full letter here
While it’s sad to see these aircraft won’t be operating passenger services, it’s awesome to see them return temporarily to carry important medical supplies to battle COVID-19.
I guess this means you can still spot the 747 Combi for a few more weeks.