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New York — The Boeing 747, the original jumbo jet favoured by American presidents and key to affordable mass market air travel in the US, will pass into aviation history this week. Nearly 50 years after its debut, it will take its final commercial flight with a US carrier on Tuesday on Delta Air Line’s Seoul-to-Detroit route. It "made flying available for everyone", said Boeing historian Michael Lombardi. "The 747 gave wings to the world." Aerospace consultant Michel Merluzeau said the plane changed travel. "All of a sudden, you could go from Singapore to London in less than 24 hours. It made everything more accessible." Delta’s sendoff for the storied aircraft includes special flights on Wednesday for employees and top customers. Ticket prices for these "farewell tour" flights have soared owing to demand. The 747 will still be in the skies for Lufthansa, British Airways and Korean Air Lines. Boeing will still build the jet as a freight carrier and for a few clients including the US...

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