TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI)-It’s the end of an era as one Japanese jet journeys from Okinawa, Japan to Tupelo, Mississippi where it will land for the last time.
After soaring through Japanese skies, All Nippon Airways is retiring the last Boeing 747 to make room for economic growth.
“While ANA is continuing to add new aircraft to their fleet their looking at their older air crafts and the less fuel efficient and retiring those,” says Keri Wright.
Over a dozen Japanese citizens spent thousands of dollars to make the long trip to see their countries most beloved jet make its final journey.
For 25 years, the Boeing 747 not only served as a way of transportation but a special meaning for the Japanese community.
“This airplane moved tsunami victims around the country of Japan. It’s a very special airplane to the country to its citizens and it’s incredible,” says Wright.
As Captain Tod Schmideler and his co-pilot strolled off the plane they were greeted as heroes.
“To actually get recognized we’re taken very blasé over here in the United States and it’s very honorable to have such an outpouring just for delivering an airplane to the end of the line so to speak,” says Tod Schmideler
For ANA’s marketing director the historic landing is bitter sweet.
“I myself is very excited about this. It’s sad but it’s really hard to think beyond this at this point. They are so overwhelmed,” says Keijiro Ota.
While many say good-bye to the last Boeing 747, they will always remember the impact it left on the Japanese Community.
Throughout the next two weeks the american-made jumbo jet will be stripped for parts that will go to other jets around the world.