God love aviators and aviation geeks. They find the coolest way to retire an aircraft and this one is for the ages.

While there are still some 542 Boeing 747 Aircraft still in service, their numbers are dwindling as they age and airlines retire them for more fuel-efficient planes like the 787 Dreamliner.

Qantas has just six remaining in service, with 2020 looking set to be the year we celebrate the last 747 flights for the flying Kangaroo. United Airlines farewelled their fleet last year and gave out some nice memorabilia to passengers of which I’m lucky to have a small selection.

But the best yet goes to Israeli airline El Al. Their last remaining 747 – registration 4X-ELC took it’s final flight this week – from Rome to Tel Aviv.

What would normally be a flight time of under 3.5 hours, took almost five for this 747. Not because it’s old and slow, but because the flight crew took it on a special journey.

Over the Mediterranean Sea and just South West of Cyprus the crew took the bird down to 10,000 feet and spent 1.5 hours on a very special flight path.

One that when you see it now is a fitting tribute to the four-engined mother of the skies – the 747.

How good is that!