JAL Boeing 747-446 JA8081
Japan Airlines or simply JAL, is the flag carrier of Japan. And for 32 years, had flights connecting Japan and Brazil. First at VCP and GIG, flying with DC-8's and early versions 747's.
After sometime, the flights were only to GRU, but always having a stopover in the USA. In the last years, at JFK JL016/JL015, flew by Boeings 747-400.
JAL was facing the worst economic crisis of its history, cutting lots of international flights, headcount and fleet. All the 38 remaining 747's would be phased out by 2008-2011, ending a 41 years of loyal, reliable and continuous services, flying almost all civilian versions of the 747 (except the 747SP and 400ER). On a cold and overcast morning of September, more exactly, September 27th 2010, the last JAL flight to Brazil (JL015) landed at GRU, operated by JA8916. JAL's 747s were a common sign in GRU, being parked at the Terminal 1, remote area, in front of the observation deck, where this pic was taken. Of the classic scheme "Tsurumaru" with the Tsuru adorning the tail. Later, in 2002, JAL adopted the "Arc of the Sun" livery, retiring the Tsuru after 44 years. Next post will show the new livery.
No forecast of a possible return until now, but at least JAL recovered from the crisis, after filling a bankruptcy protection. Who knows if we'll see Tsuru again in Brazil?
Trivia: JAL once had the largest 747 fleet in the world, operating, simultaneously, between 75-80 of many versions in the early 2000's.
JAL - Japan Airlines (Japan)
FF: April 1991
Delivered new to JAL on May 1991.
Now: Stored at ROW (Rosswel) as N634AS since May 2011.
February 23rd 2007
Canon PowerShot S3-IS
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