'End of an era' as DC-10 makes last international trip

DC-10 awaiting take off The Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight left Dhaka at about 03:00 GMT
Worker cleaning a DC-10 Workers spent much of Wednesday preparing the plane for its final journey
Air steward serves a passenger The plane, manufactured in 1988, was one of the last DC-10s to be produced

The final international flight of a DC-10 passenger aircraft has landed in Birmingham.

It marks the last such journey for the three-engine plane, which first went into service in 1971.

The flight, which departed Dhaka at about 03:00 GMT on Thursday, landed at Birmingham Airport at 17:55 GMT.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines - the last commercial carrier to use DC-10s - said it was retiring the aircraft and replacing it with newer planes.

'Fitting end'

The aircraft - carrying 35 passengers who had bought special tickets for the trip - stopped to refuel in Kuwait at about 09:45 GMT before embarking on the final leg of its journey to Birmingham.

Plane enthusiast Gordon Stretch, who travelled from Solihull to be on the flight, said the journey had been "absolutely wonderful".

"There was a great atmosphere on board, the crew were fully in the spirit," he said.

"It was a very very long day but great fun."

Air stewardess Gordon Stretch says the plane lacks an in-flight entertainment system

Biman will run a series of one-hour pleasure flights for enthusiasts from Birmingham airport over the weekend, with the last trip scheduled for 15:00 GMT on Monday.

An airline spokesman said: "It's a fitting end for an aircraft that has served Biman loyally and well over many years."

DC-10s have been used as passenger planes for over 40 years, and continue to be employed for cargo and military use.

They have been involved in several high-profile air crashes and were temporarily grounded by the US Federal Aviation Authority in 1979.

But enthusiasts - who lovingly describe the DC-10 as a "workhorse" - say it was one of the planes that paved the way for mass long-haul travel.

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