Bring Our Birds Home trust need 'less than the price of a home in Auckland' to save historic Boeing 747

The Bring Our Birds Home (BOBH) trust is just a wing-width away from achieving its ultimate goal of returning an historic aircraft to Aotearoa before it hits the scrapheap.

The aircraft in question is an Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 which left Air New Zealand's fleet in 2014.

Since then, it’s mainly flown for Spanish airline WamosAir, but it will soon be sent to the scrapyard.

BOBH trust member Paul Brennan told The AM Show this morning that the trust's determination has so far led to two former Air NZ aircraft being secured: an old DC-8 and a Boeing 737 from the days of National Airways Corporation (NAC).

But their ultimate goal has been to bring the biggest bird, the Boeing 747 home to New Zealand. While they are close to raising enough money, the trust is running out of runway as the scrapheap approaches.

"For New Zealand the 747 truly overcame the tyranny of distance. Millions of Kiwis launched their OEs on Air NZ's 747s, over 2 million passengers have travelled in this specific 747 'NBV' alone. That is special.

"The other part of this story is Lord of the Rings. It was the Frodo plane, so the Lord of the Rings fan base is aware of this, so it's already got a global appeal," Brennan said.

In terms of the cost, Brennan said the trust is "on the way," and "can do deals". 

"We are talking less than the cost of a family home in Auckland," he said.

Bring Our Birds Home trust need 'less than the price of a home in Auckland' to save historic Boeing 747
Photo credit: Bring Our Birds Home

The Boeing is currently owned by an American company, and its last journey was a repatriation flight of its own, collecting Spanish citizens from Hawaii.

Brennan says the idea of turning the aircraft into a hotel has been floated, and is gaining momentum.

"It's been done before. There's one at an airport in Sweden, and in Amsterdam there’s a brand that's about to open up a 747 hotel, too." 

While there will be no definite plans made until the trust is successful in saving the 747, initial discussions have been held around constructing a 747 pod hotel in Wanaka.

Brennan is hoping a corporate sponsor will step in to the cockpit and help this plane tale end happilty.