Friday, 9 October 2020

Farewell to Last Two BA 747's

British Airways said goodbye to its final two Heathrow-based B747 jumbo aircraft yesterday morning.

The carrier has been gradually decommissioning its remaining fleet of around 30 B747s since the summer, following the decision in July to retire the jumbo aircraft as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The poor weather conditions meant that the 747's took off sequentially
instead of  taking off on parallel runways

To commemorate the occasion the final two B747s had been set to perform ” a unique and rarely seen synchronised dual take off on parallel runways”. But unfortunately due to weather conditions this was downgraded to single runway sequential departures.

The planes took off in gloomy conditions on Thursday morning - one destined for an airfield in Kemble, near Cirencester, while the other headed for an airfield near Cardiff.

The jumbo jets will eventually be broken for spares, having seen their retirement brought forward by several years because of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline.

The G-CIVB and G-CIVY 747 jumbo jets, one of which is painted in the airline’s heritage ‘Negus’ livery, are the last survivors of what was the world’s largest fleet of 747-400 models that boasted 31 BA aircraft. 

Launched in 1969 and first flown by BA in 1971, the planes are considerably larger and less environmentally friendly than other airliners, with a capacity of around 550 passengers. 
They were known by BA as The Queen Of The Skies.

Just a year ago, British Airways lovingly re-painted three of its jumbo jets in heritage colours to mark the company’s centenary., see here and here

The BOAC 747 put in a guest appearance with the Red Arrows much to the delight of spectators at the Royal International Air Tattoo. Sadly this aircraft will shortly be heading towards its final resting place alongside 30 others.

The fuel-hungry aircraft were slowly being phased out by British Airways as they reached the end of their working life in order to help meet the company’s commitment to net zero by 2050

Full details of each retired aircraft are below here