Delta is sending its Boeing 747 jumbo jet to help people escape Hurricane Irma

Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 LAXFlickr/Tomás Del CoroA Delta Boeing 747-400 departing from LAX.

Delta’s venerable fleet of Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets is set to enter retirement in a few months.

But before they go, Delta is sending the Queen of the Skies on one final mission, to help evacuate people from Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Friday afternoon, one of the airline’s seven remaining 747s will fly down to Orlando from Detroit. With room for 376 passengers, the jumbo jet is an efficient way to get more people out of harm’s way without further contributing to the already congested airports in Florida.

While the flight is not free, Delta has capped its tickets out of Florida to $US399.

(Delta’s 747s are usually used for its trans-oceanic routes including long-haul flights to Asia from its base in Detroit.)

Delta Flight 2517 is set to depart Detroit at 12:15 pm and land in Orlando at 2:52 pm. The flight is set to make a swift turnaround and leave for its return to Detroit at 4:00 pm.

Since Detroit is one of Delta’s main hubs, passengers will then be able to transfer to other domestic or international flights.

Delta made news earlier this week by sneaking a plane load of passengers out of Puerto Rico right as Irma was bearing down on the island.

Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. The Category 5 hurricane made landfall early Wednesday in the Leeward Islands and has since left a path of destruction in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, and Montserrat, among other islands.

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