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Air NZ retires second-last 747-400

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 30, 2014

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The four-engined jumbos have gradually been replaced by the more fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ERs, with the newest of the type joining the Air NZ fleet in June.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


Comments (7)

  • Stephen


    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

  • reverend


    I hope air NZbuys boeing 777-8x-9x in future years

  • Matt


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

  • Brian


    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!

  • Jeff Atkinson


    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.

  • Dan Phillips


    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.

  • Micheal Lee


    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

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