A decommissioned Boeing 747-400, once flown commercially by Dutch airline KLM, is now undertaking an unusual final trip. Acquired by Corendon Hotels & Resorts, the aircraft recently made its final departure from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport — by road.
On February 10, the plane formerly known as the “City of Bangkok” will travel almost eight miles (12.5 kilometers) to its destination: the garden of Badhoevedorp’s Corendon Village Hotel.
There, it will become a visitor attraction, known as the Corendon Boeing 747 Experience.
While the hotel chain is keeping specifics under wraps, spokeswoman Daisy Homoet-Mijnals told CNN that it will be a “huge attraction for everybody who wants to experience the sensation of flying.”
The installation will incorporate aviation history and art, as well as “3D, 4D and 5D” elements.
Corendon Hotels & Resorts obtained the Boeing after its last commercial flight in November 2018, when it traveled from Los Angeles to Amsterdam. It was subsequently flown to Rome, to be stripped of its KLM colors and repainted in Corendon’s corporate red and white livery. On its return to the Netherlands, all reusable components were removed by aircraft recycling company AELS.
Almost 9,000 people applied to win tickets to watch the plane’s journey to Badhoevedorp in person, according to Corendon. Only 6,000 were successful, but the hotel chain has set up a livestream for undeterred enthusiasts to watch from home.
“For a lot of people this is a historical moment, because they have a special connection with the 747, the biggest invention of Boeing,” Homoet-Mijnals said.
The first stage of the journey began at night on February 5, when the jet, propped on a self- propelling trailer from transport company Mammoet, left Schiphol Airport. The plane was first moved towards a provincial road, crossing over fields and bridges on the way.
At present, the Boeing is standing in a farmer’s field alongside the A9 highway — no doubt baffling passing drivers — as Mammoet assembles purpose-built roads on which the plane will travel. On the evening of February 8, the aircraft will cross the highway, in what the hotel company called “the most spectacular part of the transport.”
The final stage of the journey will begin on the evening of February 9, when the Boeing will cross one more road before arriving at its new home the next day.
“Transporting a Boeing 747 (in this way), including the wings, has never happened before,” Homoet-Mijnals said. “It’s an exciting but also very difficult project at the same time.”