Delta Air Lines is the last U.S. carrier flying the famed Boeing 747 aircraft, but not for much longer. The airline announced Tuesday it will bring the jumbo jet through Minneapolis-St. Paul for its farewell tour on Dec. 20.
It is likely to be the last time a 747 provides passenger service at MSP. The airplane was a fixture in the fleet of locally-based Northwest Airlines, which Delta acquired in 2009. Northwest used 747s on international routes to and from the Twin Cities for decades.
The Queen of the Skies will make her final international trip -- flying between Detroit and Seoul -- a few days prior.
Here are five things aviation enthusiasts in Minnesota should know about the double-deck aircraft's final days:
1. Delta will take its only remaining 747 on a victory lap to its four largest U.S. hubs next month. The aircraft will fly from Detroit to Seattle on Dec. 18, Seattle to Atlanta on Dec. 19 and Atlanta to Minneapolis-St. Paul on Dec. 20.
2. The flights are open to current and retired employees, who can purchase discounted tickets on the flights on Nov. 20 beginning at 11 a.m. CT. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Proceeds will the Airloom Project, which operates the 747 Experience exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta.
3. Delta customers can bid on tickets for these flights -- which include access to the after-flight hangar party at MSP -- using their SkyMiles.
4. Between now and the end of December, Delta will fly a few sports teams or one-off charter flights on the 747 bird.
5. Delta will ferry the plane to its final resting place in the Arizona desert in January.
In this 1989 file photo, a Northwest 747 with the airline's then-new paint scheme lands at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.