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After six years on its fleet, Nigeria’s Max Air dispatches its oldest Boeing 747-400 to the “desert’’

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After about six years on its fleet, the Nigerian carrier, Max Air, has sent its oldest Boeing 747-400 to storage — the desert in the U.S — Pinal Airpark (MZJ) in Marana, Arizona.

The oldest of Max Air’s three remaining Boeing 747-400s departed the carrier’s Kano base last week.

Report said its journey to the desert was a “complex, multi-leg affair and it began on March 29, 2022 when it made the short hop from Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (KAN) to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) in Abuja.

It landed there at 17:56 local time using the flight number VM610 and it would retain this designation for the entirety of its trip to the American desert.

The 747’s next leg was much longer than the domestic jaunt with which it started its journey and this took place on March 30 with the quadjet leaving Abuja at 08:05.

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According to report, after 10 hours and 41 minutes in the air, the desert-bound plane touched down at Bangor International (BGR) in the U.S. State of Maine at 13:46, where it stayed overnight.

The desert facility is well known as something of an aircraft, meaning that the 747’s journey there may have been its last.

About the aircraft

On March 31, the aircraft completed its lengthy journey with a cross-country hop lasting five hours and eight minutes that took it to Marana.

Having left Bangor at 12:55, it reached Pinal Airpark at 15:03., and interestingly, from the data from FlightRadar24, the aircraft, 5N-DBK, had been there before.

Indeed, it appears to have also spent a stint in the desert lasting from November 2019 to April 2020. As such, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the aircraft.

Looking at its history, it shows that it is 25 years old, having first flown and been delivered to Korean Air back in November 1996.

The aircraft spent almost 20 years with the airline as HL7472 before leaving in February 2016. During this time, it amassed an impressive 83,049 hours across 12,700 cycles, giving an average stage length of six hours and 32 minutes.

After a five-month hiatus, it joined Max Air in July 2016. The Nigerian carrier operated it with a high-density configuration of 548 economy and 12 business class seats.

As alluded to earlier, 5N-DBK is one of three Boeing 747-400s on the books at Max Air. One of the other two, registered as 5N-ADM, is also reportedly in storage in Marana.

It is considerably younger than its recently departed counterpart, having entered service with United Airlines as N128UA back in May 2000.

Max Air’s third and final Boeing 747-400 )5N-HMM) actually appears to have been active as recently as last month, when data from Flightradar24 shows it was flying from Kano to destinations including Dakar and Niamey.

The aircraft had entered service with Korean Air back in December 1998 as HL7404.

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