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Going once, going twice… Sold! Two 747-400s auctioned online via Taobao

We all know e-commerce is the wave of the future, but we didn’t think we’d see US$24 million aircraft transactions on a site usually used to purchase clothes or smartphones online.

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But on Alibaba’s subsidiary website, often described as the “eBay of China,” two 747-400ERFs were finally purchased via the online portal for a combined total of just under $50 million.

The freighters, once owned by the now-bankrupt Jade Cargo International, were part of a trio of ex-Jade aircraft that have been in storage in China since 2011.

That changed this week when Shenzhen-based express carrier made the winning bid for two of the freighters that are currently being stored at Shanghai Pudong (PVG).

The bids on one of the planes opened Monday at 135 million yuan, with 27 bids placed before the final sale of just over 162 million yuan, or about $25 million. 

The bids still are not the highest-ever sale on an online auction site, according to BBC. The No. 1 sale remains a superyacht that went for $85 million on eBay in 2006. Alibaba, eBay and Boeing did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift, the third 747-400ERF is still in storage at Shenzhen Bao’an (SZX) and is up for auction on Taobao, with no bids yet placed

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The sales represent the next chapter in the 747’s long history, as the jumbo jets face retirement among passenger carriers, though they are still used as air freighters. Earlier this month, United Airlines retired the 747 from its fleet with a final flight to Hawaii. Delta Air Lines, now the last U.S. carrier operating the plane, plans to offer its last commercial flights aboard its 747s at the end of the year.


With Report from  Air Cargoworld



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