Birmingham Airport will bid a fond farewell to the last ever commercial DC-10 flight as it carries passengers for the very last time around the skies of Birmingham, before retiring.
More than a thousand passengers have been treated to one hour ‘scenic’ flights on the DC-10 over the last three days, taking up the sights of northern England, up towards Glasgow before looping back down to Birmingham.
The very last passenger flight on the iconic Douglas DC-10 will depart from Birmingham at 1500 and will be given a water arch salute to mark the special occasion.
The aircraft, belonging to Bangladesh’s National Flag, carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines, was the 445th aircraft to be built out of a total of 446, with the first entering commercial service in 1971.
Birmingham Airport was chosen to host the farewell services as it will become Biman’s newest international destination in the summer when it launches twice weekly flights to Dhaka and New York JFK using brand new wide-bodied Boeing 777 aircraft.
This new long-haul operation has been made possible thanks to Birmingham’s £40m runway extension opening in the spring.
Passengers on board the DC-10 flight at 1500 today will include aircraft enthusiasts from all over the world and members from the media, including BBC radio DJ Janice Long, who, in a previous life, worked as cabin crew on a DC-10 aircraft.
The DC-10 belongs to the original wide bodied classic airliners, alongside the Boeing 747 and TriStar aircraft types.
The first DC-10 to visit Birmingham was on 30 November 1972 when Laker Airways DC10-10 G-AZZC made a demonstration flight for the travel trade. In the intervening years many, many DC10s have visited Birmingham including CP Air, Wardair, Airtours, Monarch and Continental Airlines.
Birmingham will become only the third UK airport to have direct flights to New York JFK and offer the only non-stop service between the UK and Bangladesh outside of London.
On Tuesday 25th February, the DC-10 aircraft will be flown back to Dhaka where its parts will be sold.