Air NZ retires second-last 747-400

ZK-SUH departs Auckland for Victorville. (Andrew Aley)
ZK-SUH departs Auckland for Victorville. (Andrew Aley)

For Air New Zealand it is a case of out with the old and in with the new.

Fresh from taking delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, the Kiwi flag carrier has retired one of its two remaining Boeing 747-400s.

747-475 ZK-SUH (msn 24896), has landed at the aircraft graveyard in Victorville, California after leaving Auckland at 1723 on Monday and a brief stopover at LAX.

The withdrawal of ZK-SUH leaves Air NZ with just one remaining 747, ZK-NBV. That aircraft was expected to be retired in September.

Named City of Dunedin, ZK-SUH first flew for Air NZ in 1994, having previously been with Brazil’s Varig.

Air NZ has used the 747s mainly for charter or one-off flights in recent times, as well as regular scheduled services between San Francisco and Auckland.

The four-engined jumbos have gradually been replaced by the more fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ERs, with the newest of the type joining the Air NZ fleet in June.

Air New Zealand's latest 777-300ER, ZK-OKR. (Brian Wilkes)
Air New Zealand’s latest 777-300ER, ZK-OKR. (Brian Wilkes)


  1. Stephen says

    I flew this bird back in Jan from MEL-AKL. going to miss SUH.. The magnificent pilots allowed me to sit in the captains chair and I had a forget less talk with the F/O I still thank those two for allowing me to experience the pinnacle of aviation from the cockpit. Thankyou ANZ for memories that will last

  2. Matt says

    I strongly hope the next of re-placement aircrafts for the older 777-200s be the 777-8x/9x and not the A350.

  3. Brian says

    I still wish more alirlines would commit to the new 747-8, to keep that classic shape in the sky for many more years to come!

  4. Jeff Atkinson says

    Flew on these and the 200″s a few times.Flew into Bris and tullamarine up in the deck.I too think they look better and i would always watch a jumbo land instead of a 380.Yes to a 340 too.Carried a lot of kiwis home and tourists and did it well all over the pacific .A sad farewell and an end of an era for Air NZ.

  5. Dan Phillips says

    747 was a great plane in its time.

    It is however time to make way for the new kids in town, A350 and the 787. 777-x series are really just warmed over 777s and not really that exciting. 777 cabin has always been noisy with those huge engines. I understand both A350 and 787 are almost as quiet as the A380.

  6. Micheal Lee says

    I remeber ZK-SUH I flew her to KLAX from NZAA when she was in her Lord Of The Rings Decals superb 744 just like her sister ship ZK-NBV I here she was sold to GE least she has another life The Pacific’s Number One airline of all time air new zealnd