I’ve been tracking down the current status of the seven Boeing 747-400 series that flew between 1990 and 2003 with Canadian registrations. Four of the aircraft (in all passenger configuration) entered the C.A.I.L. fleet beginning in 1990. Air Canada originally ordered seven but only took delivery of three (in combi configuration) in 1991 and then placed them in storage until 1993 when Air Canada was granted rights to fly Asian routes. Both airlines utilized the aircraft on the fast growing Asian market.
Following is a list of the aircraft with their original registrations and delivery dates.
C-GMWW – C.A.I.L. Fin # 881 – December 11, 1990
Last flew in the Aerolineas Argentinas fleet under registration LV-BBU until June 2012 when it was returned off lease to Ansett Worldwide. It has been stored at Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona under registration N278AW since June 14, 2012.
C-FCRA - C.A.I.L. Fin # 882 – February 15, 1991 (Pictured)
Last flew in the Aerolineas Argentinas fleet under registration LV-AXF while leased from Pegasus. It has been stored since January 2012. No location available.
C-GAGL – AC Fin # 341 – June 4, 1991
Converted to all cargo configuration by Air China in 2006. Still in service with MyCargo Airlines of Turkey under registration TC-ACH.
C-GAGM - AC Fin # 342 – July 16, 1991
Last flew for Dubai Air Wing in VIP configuration under registration A6-COM. According to Planefinders.net its last flight on June 8, 2014. No information given for where it is stored.
C-GAGN- AC Fin # 343 – August 30, 1991
Converted to all cargo configuration by Air China in 2006. Still in service with Saudi Arabian Airlines on a lease from MyCargo Airlines under registration TC-ACJ.
C-FBCA - C.A.I.L. Fin # 884 – April 22, 1992
Last flew in the Aerolineas Argentinas fleet under registration LV-ALI until April 2012 when it was leased to AeroSur of Bolivia. The lease was not taken up and it was returned to Sky Holding Company. It has been stored at Pinal Airpark in Marana, Arizona under registration N971PG October, 2012.
C-FGHZ - C.A.I.L. Fin #885 - April 3, 1995
Originally assigned to Philippine Airlines, it was not taken up at the time and flew for C.A.I.L. until March of 2001 when it was then returned to GECAS. Philippine Airlines then leased the aircraft under registration C-FGHZ from December 2002 until August 2013. It is presently stored at Greenwood-LaFlore Airport in Mississippi.
Note: Captain Dennis Giguere sent along this clarification concerning the circumstances of the entry of the fleet -
The Air Canada 747-400 combis were delivered to Air Canada from storage in the Mojave Desert by newly trained Air Canada pilots in the April 1992 and entered service shortly thereafter flying to CDG / LHR and FRA. Hollis Harris had just taken over as CEO and he wanted them in service ASAP.
I was one of the newly trained captains. Half of us were trained at Boeing and the rest at NATCO in MSP. Service to Asia began in 1994 to Seoul then Osaka and finally Hong Kong as I remember.
We thank Captain Giguere for sharing his personal experience.