All Nippon Airways or the ANA said that it was time for four of its
Boeing 747-400s to withdraw from service. The airline has fixed the
retirement of its last 747 aircraft that will operate between Naha,
Okinawa, and Tokyo on March 29, 2014.
At present, All Nippon Airways is using five of these planes on domestic
routes. The airline included the first Boeing 747SR-81 on December 20,
1978. It added its first Boeing 747-281B on June 25, 1985. The airline
said towering fuel prices has forced it to arrive at this decision. It
however, plans to replace these jets with smaller but more
Pikachu Jumbo, the 747 aircraft that is adorned with designs of Pikachu
and other characters from the famous Pocket Monsters animation series
commonly known, as Pokémon will also be amongst the four. This jet is
set to retire in September. The news might disappoint and break the
hearts of many children who have had the chance to board this colorful
This jet made its first public appearance in1998. It has since operated
on both domestic and international routes. The carrier also planned a
farewell flight on Haneda-Sapporo route connecting Tokyo and Hokkaido.
The airline made three round-trip flights each day until August 8, 2013.
The airline maintained that a related plane called Pokémon Jet would
continue to operate. This is a Boeing 777 aircraft. Another prominent
airline in Japan has already retired all its Boeing 747s.
The airline operates from its headquarters in Shiodome area in Minato,
Tokyo. It has flights to 49 destinations within Japan and 32 cities
across the world.