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The End of an Era: MD-11 Completes Final Commercial Flight


The final commercial flight of a MD-11 took place on Sunday, traveling from Montreal to Amsterdam.

It’s the end of an era for another classic wide-body commercial jet. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has officially retired the last commercially operating McDonnell Douglas MD-11.

The International Business Times reports the three-engine wide-body jet made its final flight on Sunday from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). KLM Flight 672 — the aircraft dubbed “Audrey Hepburn” after the iconic Dutch actress — marked the final commercial MD-11 flight.

The MD-11 was first introduced to commercial service in 1990. Between 1988 and 2000, 200 MD-11s were built for both passenger and freighter service. At the height of its splendor, the MD-11 was operated by a number of major carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines and KLM, but the aircraft suffered from a poor safety record in its early years.

To commemorate the MD-11’s retirement, hundreds of aviation enthusiasts traveled from around the world to be a part of the final flight. In light of this, KLM planned a number of celebrations on the ground and in the air. IBTimes reports that the aircraft was given the traditional water cannon salute during takeoff and landing, and it was met at AMS by a special motorcade. Passengers enjoyed a champagne toast to the final flight with meal service and were given special access the cockpit upon landing.

After McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing, production of the MD-11 was discontinued in 1998. While the MD-11 will no longer serve passengers, freight operators like FedEx will continue to operate the aircraft.

KLM first officer Michiel De Bruyne told IBTimes that the final commercial MD-11 would be flown to a storage location, likely in the U.S., where it would slowly be dismantled for parts.

[Photo: IBTimes]

Comments are Closed.
yosithezet October 29, 2014

Where did you forget your daughter? Do try to find her!

gilbertaue October 29, 2014

Saw Audrey while driving into AMS last week and pointed her out to my 6 year old daughter - who dreams of being a pilot one day. The look on her face followed by ït has THREEEE engines?" She'll be missed.

UncleDude October 29, 2014

Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels in Belgium.

Centurion October 28, 2014

That extra engine gave me comfort. I have no idea if really was safer on a technical basis. I do think MD11 as the equivalent of a Diesel on emmissions