Two Boeing 747SP the same day

Aircraft spotters would have seen two Boeing 747SP aircraft last Saturday 23 April, both regular visitors from Saudi Arabia, plus a small medical evacuation jet from the same country. Coincidence?

Both of these long-range versions of the original Boeing 747 range of aircraft, about which I wrote a blog early this year, are fairly regular visitors to Geneva, though they are never indicated on the arrivals/departures board. Sometimes they come with a callsign of Saudi Arabian Airlines, at other times just the aircraft registration number.

It is very unusual to see the two here at the same time. The first to arrive was HZ-AIJ, at 4h38 pm on Good Friday, 22 April, followed by HZ-AIF at 6h34 am on Saturday 23 April. HZ-AIF departed again at 12h40 pm, followed by HZ-AIJ at 4h07 pm. Both departures took off over Vernier and registered a very high noise level (93-94 dBA on the ARAG Vernier station), suggesting that they were both fuelled for a long trip. The flightaware.com site suggests that at least one was heading for Nassau, from where it was seen returning to Jeddah on the Sunday.

Also on Saturday, a Saudi medical evacuation flight arrived in Geneva at 2h34 pm, leaving again at 4h11 pm. The timing might suggest that perhaps someone on one of the 747SP aircraft was transferred onto the medical jet, though that is pure speculation.

As to whether it was a coincidence to see both of the big jets at the same time, who knows?



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