A year ago, on March 15th, 2021, the very last Boeing 747 in KLM's stunning blue livery departed Amsterdam Schiphol for good. The jumbo jet, registered PH-BFV, took off from Amsterdam Schiphol at 09:20 and headed for storage facilities at Teruel in Spain. Let's take a look at the special day and where the aircraft is now.

Two years without KLM's jumbo jets

While it's only been a year since KLM's last 747 left Schiphol, the Dutch airline actually hadn't used the type for passenger operations since the beginning of the pandemic. Indeed, without enough passengers to carry, the airline took the big birds out of regular passenger services in March 2020. However, as freight services became increasingly in-demand, the Queens were brought out of storage for cargo flights in the months following their passenger-service-retirements. Thus, the airline finally ended all 747 operations in October 2020.

But even though these jets remained grounded and officially retired, a handful remained at Amsterdam Schiphol, awaiting their final fate- namely PH-BFT, PH-BFW, and PH-BFV. These were the three last passenger 747s to be seen in KLM blue. Slowly but surely, one by one, the quad jets were relocated to new homes. Thus on March 15th, the very last KLM 747, PH-BFV, took off from its longtime home of Schiphol for the very last time.

PH-BFV Flight
The final flight of PH-BFV. The jet hasn't emerged from Teruel since- and probably never will. Photo: FlightRadar24.com

Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that the 747-400M (combi) departed at 09:18 on March 15th, 2021. After just over an hour and a half, the plane touched down in Spain at Teruel. A long-term aircraft storage facility, the pandemic has turned Teruel into a fairly common name in our articles. The Spanish facility operated by Tarmac Aerosave has become a long-term home to many big jets over the past two years- including several Airbus A380s and A340s.

The fate of PH-BFV

PH-BFV was a Boeing 747-400M. This designation made it a combi aircraft that transported both passengers and cargo on its main deck. Delivered new to KLM in August 1999, the jet hadn't flown for KLM since October 25th, 2020, completing a cargo rotation to Shanghai.

A few months later, the jumbo jet was acquired by Longtail Aviation and re-registered as VQ-BWM. The jet was ferried from Teruel to Marseille to Sharjah on June 16th, 2021. At this point, the jet was presumably modified and converted from its combi configuration to become a full freighter.

From Longtail Aviation, the 747 was acquired by cargo operator JetOneX in February 2022. The new carrier, operator of seven 747s, describes its services as follows:

"Our speciality: long-haul intercontinental heavy lift, with the flexibility of nose loading for outsize cargo or side cargo doors."

Surprisingly, the aircraft has retained its unique KLM-blue- albeit with some modifications. The aircraft's tail is now entirely white, while its white belly has been brought up to diagonally sweep across the top half of the aircraft as a thick band. Of course, if you're familiar with the KLM style, you'd instantly recognize the similarities and previous livery.

Since emerging from facilities in Sharjah in early February 2022, the aircraft has been incredibly busy, flying between destinations in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Are you happy to see this former KLM jet still flying? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

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