Aviation buffs will have shed a tear recently as KLM operated their last scheduled passenger flight using an MD-11, ending their 80 year relationship with the now long-gone manufacturer McDonnell Douglas.

Whilst some of the obituaries for the aircraft were perhaps less than complimentary, it nonetheless marked the end of an aviation era and certainly didn’t go uncelebrated. Many MD-11-fanciers leapt at the chance to travel on the final flight from Montreal to Amsterdam and even more were able to book their places on a series of MD-11 Farewell Flights, which flew special roundtrips over the Netherlands on 11th November.

It may have been a sad event for many aircraft connoisseurs, but the move does highlight that KLM, and the aviation industry as a whole, is moving on and taking robust action to modernise the fleet in response to the global challenge of climate change. Efficiency, reliability and innovation is the name of the game and the MD-11 simply couldn’t compete with more modern designs and needed to be consigned to the history books.

KLM have now set their sights on introducing the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to its fleet from October 2015, which will operates far more sustainably, carries 276 passengers and will burn 15% less fuel than the model it replaces – and a whole lot more than that when compared to the MD-11!

Here's the aircraft leaving the fleet two days ago for an unknown fate in the Mahabi desert.....