British Airways’ remaining two Boeing 747 aircraft based at Heathrow took off for the last time on Thursday.
G-CIVB, painted in the airline’s historic Negus livery and G-CIVY, in its current Chatham Dockyard livery, will be retired in the UK at Kemble and St Athan, respectively. The two aircraft have flown an impressive 104 million miles in their 47 years of service and carried millions of British Airways customers.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO said, “Today was an emotional milestone in the retirement of our 747 fleet as it was our last chance to see the Queen of the Skies depart from our home at Heathrow airport. The 747s have played a huge role in our 100-year history, forming the backbone of our fleet for over 50 years. I know I speak for our customers and the many thousands of colleagues who have spent much of their careers alongside them when I say we will miss seeing them grace our skies.”
In July, British Airways announced that its remaining 747s had sadly flown their last commercial services as a result of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the airline and the aviation sector. The fleet is being replaced by quieter more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of the airline’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
747 facts and stats
Boeing has been manufacturing 747 aircraft for more than 50 years
BOAC flew its first 747 flight on 14th April 1971
British Airways took delivery of its first 747-400 in July 1989 and its last in April 1999
At its height, the airline had a fleet of 57 747-400s
British Airways was the world’s biggest operator of 747-400 aircraft
The 747-400 has 6ft high winglets on the tips of its wings to improve efficiency
It has 16 main wheels and two landing nose wheels
The wings of a 747-400 span 213ft and are big enough to accommodate 50 parked cars
The tail height of 64ft is equivalent to a six-storey building
The 747-400 is 231ft long
About British Airways’ retro liveries
Last year to mark its centenary British Airways re-painted three of its jumbo jets in heritage colours donning it’s historic BOAC, Negus and Landor livery The BOAC jet put in a guest appearance with the Red Arrows much to the delight of spectators at the Royal International Air Tattoo.