El Al to retire its remaining Boeing 747-400s by the end of October

Tel Aviv, Israel - Israeli flag carrier El Al has confirmed that it would retire its last three Boeing 747-400 by the end of October.

The Israeli carrier was one of the first airlines to operate scheduled flights with two 747-200 in 1971. El Al has so far operated 23 of Boeing's jumbo jets, including -100, -200, -300, -400 and -400F variants.

Earlier this month, El Al has retired the oldest Boeing 747-400 in its fleet, which served 25 years with the airline. Another old airplane recently retired was a Boeing 767, which also flew with the El Al's colors for 36 years.

El Al has been modernizing its fleet since 2017.

The operator has so far taken delivery of 11 787-9. In addition to the four Boeing 787-8 on order from the American aircraft manufacturer, there is one more 787-9 in the El Al's order book waiting to be delivered.

In 1991, the Israeli military used El Al's Boeing 747s in "Operation Solomon" that was carried out to bring the Ethiopian Jews from Ethiopia to Israel during the civil war in the African country.

On one of these flights, a total of 1,122 refugees transported to Israel. This remains the largest number of people carried by a commercial aircraft.

The era of large four-engine passenger planes comes to the end with the introduction of more efficient newer generation widebodies such as Boeing's 787s and Airbus's A350s.

The only remaining operation area for the Boeing's iconic jumbo jets in the next decade will mainly be the air freight segment. Several passenger variants of the aircraft were already converted to freighter by cargo operators.

The demand for the larger cargo planes also keeps the 747-8 in production.