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A Very Special Boeing has a nickname Uniform Juliett

A Very Special Boeing  has a nickname Uniform Juliett

The B-HUJ was the last Boeing 747 retired by Cathay Pacific in 2016. Now it is embarking on a new journey into the hands of fans and collectors as 12,000 limited-edition Aviationtags  Affectionately nicknamed “Uniform Juliett” by the staff at Cathay Pacific, on 23 May 1995 it was the last Boeing 747-400 to be delivered to the Hong Kong-based airline – and the first passenger plane ever to land at Hong Kong’s new “Chep Lap Kok” International Airport in 1998. That same landing also meant the B-HUJ had set a new record: it had just arrived from John F. Kennedy International  Airport and was the first commercial passenger aircraft in the world to fly 8,590 miles nonstop over the North Pole.

The B-HUJ would ultimately have its big send-off on 8 October 2016, when more than 350 employees of the airline took off for a final round trip over Hong Kong celebrating the aircraft and its history.

“Uniform Juliett” was the last Boeing 747 to be retired. The “Jumbos” had been an important part of the fleet, thanks in part to the infamous approach path to Hong Kong’s old “Kai Tak” Airport, where the 747 was often photographed flying characteristically low over the roofs of the city, making it a hallmark of the airline.

Its very last flight then took it to Bruntingthorpe in the United Kingdom where it was dismantled.

And whilst its career in the skies may now be over, a good part of its fuselage is now taking off again – as one of 12,000 unique limited-edition Aviationtags

To make the tags, we disassembled and cut parts of the outer skin at our very own manufactory in Cologne until they could be punched into the distinctive  Aviationtag® shape. The final step in this upcycling process was precision laser engraving.

Each of the strictly limited-edition Aviationtags® now features the aircraft type, registration number,  edition number, and size. Each Aviationtag® may vary from other serial numbers in terms of thickness, color, and haptics and is one of a kind. The engraved data even allows registered users* to be located. The custom Lost & Found Service provided by Aviationtag® has already allowed many a  lost Aviationtag® and attached bunch of keys to be reunited with their owners.

The unique pieces are reborn as key and luggage tags – and as collector’s items, because a good share of Aviationtag®’s clientele are true-blue aviation enthusiasts. But actually almost anyone who loves to travel will succumb to the charm of these small tags. Because Aviationtags® enhance their owners’ everyday lives with an unmistakable feeling: the feeling of taking off into the distance towards new experiences with that tangible extra tailwind behind you. The 12,000 Aviationtags crafted from the Boeing 747-400 B-HUJ are now available in the Aviationtag® shop.


When they founded bordar design GmbH more than ten years ago, the two friends and passionate aviation geeks Stephan Boltz and Valentin Hartmann fulfilled their dream of turning discarded aircraft trolleys into functional design furniture. Over the years they built up a global network within the aviation industry and their passion for aviation grew unabated. Finally, in 2016 they had the idea of  giving decommissioned aircraft a new lease on life as well as aircraft trolleys: Aviationtag was born – a pocket-sized piece of aircraft history. Once the project reached cruising altitude in 2018, it was time to bring Tobias Richter, another experienced airliner, into the company cockpit. He now navigates  the Aviationtag division as Vice President.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.