Lonely Planet Writer

KLM Boeing 747 makes its final iconic landing over the beach on Sint Maarten

One of the most incredible plane landings is no more, as Dutch airline KLM will no longer fly its Boeing 747 to land over Maho Beach at Sint Maarten.

KLM landing on Maho Beach, St Maarten.
KLM landing on Maho Beach, St Maarten. Image by alljengi / CC BY-SA 2.0

People regularly gathered on the Caribbean beach to see the large plane pass 100 feet overhead as it descended into Princess Juliana International Airport.

The 747 had flown that route since 1990, but the final flight was held on 28 October. While the move is disappointing to plane-spotters, the change was actually made to shave four hours travel time off the route, reports ABC News. The planes would generally fly from Amsterdam, making a stop in Curacao before heading to Sint Maarten. Now each route will have its own flight, meaning those heading to Sint Maarten will get to their beach holiday much faster.

And if you missed the incredible landing for the last time, you’re not entirely out of luck: the Dutch airline will no longer fly the massive 747 on the route, but will fly a smaller Airbus into the airport.

While the landing was pretty incredible, PrivateFly’s list of the top ten most scenic airport approaches of 2016 only put Sint Maarten at number eight. If you want to see what the private jet booking service deemed to be the most beautiful landing, look no further than Malta Airport, where planes fly straight onto the rocky island’s beautiful scenery. It was followed by the Nice Côte d’Azur airport on the French Riviera, and the Queenstown Airport in New Zealand.