Two “Queens of the Sky” Boeing 747-400s jumbo jets were sold on Alibaba’s e-commerce website, Taobao for $48 million making it the highest sale in the history.
The two jumbo jets belonged to a now bankrupt cargo company known as Jade Cargo International. According to Taobao’s listing, the jets were sold to a Chinese logistics company, SF Express.
This was not the first time the planes had been brought to the market. According to BBC reports, the Intermediate People’s Court of Shenzhen City had attempted at least six offline auctions in the previous years.
However, after being met with failure at every turn, they finally decided to put the planes up on Taobao—a decision that paid off well, in every sense of the term. The bidding for the planes opened on Monday, November 20.
The opening bid was registered at almost $20 million, while the final sale made was closer to $25 million. In total, the sale saw 27 bidders fighting it out for a chance to acquire the planes.
Interestingly, a third plane put up for auction on the site went unsold after only one buyer registered a bid. However, on the whole, the bids are the highest ever registered on Taobao’s website.
Despite the colossal value, the bids are not the highest sale ever made during an online auction. According to a BBC report, the highest virtual bid ever made was for a superyacht, which sold for $85 million on eBay in 2006.
The sales, however, have opened a new chapter of the 747’s journey. The jumbo jets may soon be phased out as passenger carriers, leaving manufacturers with limited options for their usage.
The sale made on Taobao means that the jets will now find employment as air freighters used to carry cargo for industrial purposes.