Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest. British Airways bids farewell to B747s at Heathrow 8 Oct 2020 by Mark Caswell British Airways said goodbye to its final two Heathrow-based B747 jumbo aircraft this morning. G-CIVY entered service in September 1998. There's a lot of emotional attachment to the 747s, with many cabin crew and passengers having fond memories of flying in them. The airline had repainted three Boeing 747s in historic liveries, to celebrate its heritage. British Airways’ final two Heathrow based Boeing 747 aircraft are set to depart from the airport for the very last time. Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO has provided his reaction. In March last year, it once again donned the Landor livery and was retitled as the City of Swansea. It’s a wet and miserable looking day but these magnificent planes have seen far worse in their time. It’s always hard to say goodbye. Content Manager – Degree educated in Aerospace Technology, this certified pilot is a passionate specialist in European aviation. They burn more fuel than their twin-engine counterparts and require more maintenance. However, last night the queen’s 50-year reign came to an end as British Airways confirmed the retirement of the type. It is now one of only two British Airways aircraft to carry a name, the other being a Boeing 787 named after the airline’s late heritage director, Paul Jarvis. Although demand is slowly recovering, British Airways estimates that pre-COVID levels won’t be achieved until 2023 to 2024 at the earliest. This is the official British Airways video to commemorate the last two B747s departing from Heathrow on 8 October 2020. A year ago, nobody could’ve imagined that the aviation industry would end up where it is today. 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. Maaaan! They will always hold a special place in our hearts at British Airways.”. Be in the know. British Airways' final two Heathrow based Boeing 747 aircraft have departed the airport for the very last time. At the time, it was named the City of Swansea. 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. Commenting on the farewell, British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said. During the pandemic she has been flying PPE around the world. British Airways 747 Final Farewell from London #Heathrow #BA747Farewell One of the jumbos, 22-year-old G-CIVY, flew for 51 minutes to BA’s maintenance depot in St Athan, Wales, and … This retirement came with no fanfare, and was much faster than the original retirement schedule. Her last passenger flight was April 6, 2020 from Miami to Heathrow. This, it seems, sealed their fate, and the fate of the many avgeeks who were hoping to enjoy at least one more spin on the Queen before she retired. However, as times changed, along with the rest of the British Airways fleet, the aircraft was repainted into the current Chatham Dockyard livery. The planes were considerably larger than existing airliners, with a capacity of around 550 passengers - known by British Airways as The Queen Of The Skies. If this were the case, the three retro-jets, plus a fourth Chatham Dockyard aircraft, would be perfect for the honor. Thursday morning, I was at a gloomy and grey London Heathrow Airport, ready to bid farewell to BA’s final two Queen of the Skies. Letting go of our B747s is definitely harder than break up to take! The aircraft was initially delivered in the livery in February 1993. For the aircraft operating the route, a Boeing 747-400 (registration G-BNLI), this was its last passenger flight after more than 24 years’ service at the airline (Source: The BA Source.) This will be followed by a flypast along the southerly runway by one of the aircraft (G-CIVY in current BA livery) as it bids its home a final farewell. We take a look at whether an early retirement for the aircraft could be on the cards. I won’t be able to fly with these queens ever again #BA747Farewell. British Airways has now been flying the Boeing 747 for over half a century. BA: Farewell to the Boeing 747 aircraft – Queen of the skies. Watch the first of two 747s take off in the #BA747Farewell. “This is not how we wanted or expected to have to say goodbye to our incredible fleet of 747 aircraft. It is currently the world's biggest operator of 747-400s and first took delivery of them in July 1989. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. British Airways told Simple Flying that the suspension is due to recent events; however, it could change in the future. In July 2020, 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. We use ads to keep our content free. SurreyLive provided live updates on the farewell flight in the blog below. One of the aircraft has been rolled forwards, in preparation for being taxied. Just this week, Qantas hosted a series of three farewell flights for its final Boeing 747. BA is live streaming the departure on its Facebook page. According to a letter sent to BA staff last night, the 747 is an ‘airliner of another era’. Her last passenger flight was from Chicago to Heathrow. The airline also has an order with Boeing for up to 42 777Xs. 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