Last ever KLM 747 makes final descent over St Maarten beach

Last ever KLM 747 makes final descent over St Maarten beach

MAHO BEACH, ST MAARTEN — The iconic 747 has left the building – or in this case, the beach – to the dismay of instagrammers and beach revellers alike.

According to the Daily Mail, KLM’s 747 made its final descent above Maho Beach in St Maarten, a stretch of beach made famous for its alarmingly close proximity to the airport nearby. Runway 10 at Princess Juliana International Airport is so short that pilots must make their final approach just 100 feet over the heads of sunbathers.

KLM’s huge airliners have been delighting beachgoers below for over 20 years. But now, with the last 747 landing last Friday, plane gazers will have to settle for the smaller A330, which takes over the 747 route. The Dutch carrier’s Airbus A330 now takes passengers on the direct nonstop service between Amsterdam and St. Maarten.

Photographer Dennis Janssen captured the dramatic descent of the final KLM 747. His image, along with footage from MahoBeachCam.com, captured the excitement of the crowd below, which had gathered to mark the occasion.

Paul van der Ven, the chief pilot of KLM’s Boeing 747 team, told The Daily Herald: “”It is an iconic approach, especially because of the inseparable view of the blue Caribbean sea and the aircraft landing just behind the beach. The Boeing 747 is slowly disappearing from our fleet, but the end of this landing hurts. We find it a great pity, also because of the historic ties that this aircraft has with the island.”