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AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - Dutch flag carrier KLM is withdrawing its last three Boeing 747-400s from the service permanently this year in October.

In March, KLM announced it would retire the seven total passenger airplanes that were in its fleet, a move prompted by the coronavirus crisis. The company had already planned to stop using the wide-bodied aircraft but was not planning to do so until 2021. But three of the planes, dubbed the Queen of the Skies, remained in service during April to ferry medical supplies to relating to the pandemic.

As transmission rates in the Netherlands have decreased, so has the demand for the planes.

‘The demand from the Dutch government for medical supplies is decreasing to such an extent that KLM will be able to provide transport with the regular capacity again in the future,’ 

KLM said in a statement.

KLM joins British Airways and Australian airline Qantas in retiring the four-engine jets this year. The plane first flew in 1989 and was Boeing’s bestselling aircraft until 2011. Nearly 700 planes took to the skies in the past 30 years.

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