According to a letter sent to BA staff last night, the 747 is an ‘airliner of another era’. This retirement came with no fanfare, and was much faster than the original retirement schedule. Email. Late last night British Airways sent an emotional communication to staff announcing the immediate early retirement of their fleet of 30 Boeing 747-400s. Find out how you can get more news from SurreyLive straight to your inbox HERE. Once the world's largest operator of the 747, BA has now retired its entire jumbo jet fleet after Covid-19 curtailed most air travel, accelerating the move to more fuel-efficient planes. Sharron Livingston - Jul 19, 2020. BA will be live streaming moments from the departure on its Facebook page and is also inviting its colleagues, aviation enthusiasts and customers to share any special memories or photos of British Airways 747s on social media channels at 7.47am and 7.47pm on their departure day using the hashtag #BA747farewell. This was a Boeing 747-100. The 747s have played a huge role in our 100-year history, forming the backbone of our fleet for over 50 years. The most wonderful human being I have ever known. 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. They will always hold a special place in our hearts at British Airways.”. It’s always hard to say goodbye. “hey have been at the centre of so many memories, including my very first long-haul flight. Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest. However, as times changed, along with the rest of the British Airways fleet, the aircraft was repainted into the current Chatham Dockyard livery. Boeing has been manufacturing the 747 aircraft for more than 50 years and the planes were considerably larger than existing airliners, with a capacity of around 550 passengers. There is hope that a few could end up as museum pieces around the globe like the airline’s former Concorde fleet. This is "BA 747 farewell flights" by NATS on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. 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 … The final two BA 747-400s left at Heathrow, G-CIVY and G-CIVB, were headed for St Athan in Wales, and Kemble in Gloucestershire, respectively. However, this is especially true for the British Airways Boeing 747, which has become so ingrained into history over the past 50 years. Her last passenger flight was from Chicago to Heathrow. British Airways took delivery of its first 747-400 in July 1989 and its last in April 1999. Find out how HERE. The current crisis has brought airlines to their knees on an unprecedented scale. After all, the airline’s owner, IAG, previously warned that it was on the cards during its Q1 results presentation. I'm so proud of him. To find news and information that is hyperlocal to your postcode, use our widget below. British Airways has yet to confirm where the final journeys of the Boeing 747 will take them. It’s a wet and miserable looking day but these magnificent planes have seen far worse in their time. Although demand is slowly recovering, British Airways estimates that pre-COVID levels won’t be achieved until 2023 to 2024 at the earliest. There's a lot of emotional attachment to the 747s, with many cabin crew and passengers having fond memories of flying in them. 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. Facebook. BA is currently flying the 747-400 version of the long-range aircraft. 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. The current pandemic has sped up the end for many aircraft. SurreyLive will provided live updates on the farewell flight in the blog below. Saturday night stay required, valid for travel 1st November through 31st March. BA’s predecessor, BOAC, first used the 747 in 1971 and as with many airlines, the plane — affectionately referred to as either the “jumbo jet” or the “queen of the skies” — became a symbol of the new age of mass travel to all corners of the planet. During the pandemic she has been flying PPE around the world. On Monday, Taiwan’s China Airlines has announced that it will be operating a Boeing 747-400 farewell flight in February. This video shows one of the aircraft taking to the sky. The airline had repainted three Boeing 747s in historic liveries, to celebrate its heritage. The first aircraft joined the airline’s predecessor, BOAC, in 1970. This was also the case when Virgin Atlantic suddenly pulled the plug on the queen earlier this year. 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.) 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. SurreyLive provided live updates on the farewell flight in the blog below. If this were the case, the three retro-jets, plus a fourth Chatham Dockyard aircraft, would be perfect for the honor. Please Support us by turning off your adblocker. Twitter. Letting go of our B747s is definitely harder than break up to take! Maaaan! British Airways' final two Heathrow based Boeing 747 aircraft have departed the airport for the very last time. Live footage from the scene shows the two aircraft’s preparing for a synchronised dual take off on parallel runways at Heathrow. British Airways: farewell to 747 fleet. Flying into retirement, BA’s two jumbo jets took to the skies one after the other from runway 27R. Once the world’s largest operator of the 747, BA has now retired its entire jumbo jet fleet after the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed most air travel The airline has been spending lots of money on a more fuel-efficient long-haul fleet, and in the past year has taken delivery of six brand new Airbus A350 aircraft, alongside Boeing 787s. BA's 'Queen of the Skies' jumbos bid farewell to rainy London British Airways Boeing 747 leaves London Heathrow airport Its days have been numbered, though, in light of new, modern, fuel-efficient aircraft such as Airbus’ A350 and Boeing’s 787. Fans of the iconic aircraft have been sharing their memories on Twitter: Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: We will pay tribute to them for the incredible part they have played in our 100-year history and to the millions of customers and BA colleagues who have flown on board and taken care of them. Pinterest. 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. BA has launched a spot sale with 747 seats available in Club World to destinations served by the iconic aircraft. A year ago, nobody could’ve imagined that the aviation industry would end up where it is today. It is currently the world's biggest operator of 747-400s and first took delivery of them in July 1989. October 10, 2020 by Martin J Cowling Leave A Comment “Sad Day for All” the understated words of an Air Traffic Controller at Kemble/Cotswold Airport summed up how I and so many 747 enthusiasts felt as the very last two British Airways Jumbo 747-400s departed the fleet. They burn more fuel than their twin-engine counterparts and require more maintenance. BA is live streaming the departure on its Facebook page. Posted by 2paxfly | Jul 17, 2020 | Airlines, News, Uncategorized. To commemorate the occasion the airline's two aircraft took to the skies, one after the other from Heathrow, shortly after 8.30am on Thursday (October 8). British Airways told Simple Flying that the suspension is due to recent events; however, it could change in the future. We take a look at whether an early retirement for the aircraft could be on the cards. Unfortunately, an order for the -8 was never made, meaning the line stops here. Just this week, Qantas hosted a series of three farewell flights for its final Boeing 747. Former pilots have told how the jet took some getting used to, from a cockpit positioned almost 30 feet above the ground and more when angling the nose higher just before touching the runway. ", Guildford B&Q staff rush to help as burger van fire breaks out in car park, Another man was seen "risking life and limb to try and get the fire out" according to an eyewitness, 15 hacks to revolutionise your kitchen and life in lockdown, Here are some easy ways to get organised, save time and recycle more, Gatwick Brook House immigration centre closes after staff test positive for coronavirus, A small number of detainees have been moved to a different detention centre, 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. British Airways' final two Heathrow based Boeing 747 aircraft have departed the airport for the very last time. Based in Frankfurt, Germany. 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.”. There is plenty of social media reaction to the farewell flight: The planes have both taken off simultaneously through some thick cloud, but they are still just about visible as they cimb. Farewell! Watch the first of two 747s take off in the #BA747Farewell. Most impressive was the Landor livery that G-BNLY received, notable thanks to the story attached. 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. So many people, including many thousands of our colleagues past and present, have spent countless hours on and with these wonderful planes. Content Manager – Degree educated in Aerospace Technology, this certified pilot is a passionate specialist in European aviation. Commenting on the farewell, British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said. G-BNLI is the 11th 747 to be withdrawn from service at BA. Some of these were initially envisioned to replace the Boeing 747. A special send-off has seen the last two British Airways Boeing 747s at Heathrow depart for the final time. The aircraft was initially delivered in the livery in February 1993. BA: Farewell to the Boeing 747 aircraft – Queen of the skies. British Airways has now been flying the Boeing 747 for over half a century. One of the last British Airways 747s seems to be doing a loop of London: You can get news and features from Surrey delivered straight to your inbox, by signing up to our newsletter. Here's a screenshot from FlightRadar24, One of the aircraft, as promised, has just done a flypast of the southerly runway, in a final farewell. With the current drop-in demand, having these planes on order could be a boon for British Airways, as it can take delivery of them as and when demand picks up, while not maintaining empty aircraft in the meantime. These planes, especially those at Heathrow, will need to depart their current location for a flight to their final resting places. One of the aircraft has been rolled forwards, in preparation for being taxied. 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. Will you miss the Boeing 747? I won’t be able to fly with these queens ever again #BA747Farewell. A selection of photos taken from Heathrow can be seen in the gallery below: Captain Al Bridger was one of the lucky pilots to fly one of the 747s for its last departure today, earning himself a place in BA’s history. Of course, Boeing still needs to complete flight testing of the 777X before deliveries start. The planes took off through some thick cloud, but were still just about visible as they climbed into the sky. We hope that Britain will join us in sharing their memories with us on social media at 7.47am and 7.47pm on Thursday using #BA747farewell.”. BA live streamed the departure on its Facebook page and also invited colleagues, aviation enthusiasts and customers to share any special memories or photos of British Airways 747s on social media using the hashtag #BA747farewell. She has flown for 90,161 hours and flown 45 million miles. While some of the fleet has already been ferried to aircraft graveyards in anticipation of today’s announcement, many are still at airports such as Bournemouth, Cardiff, and even Heathrow itself. Even though the final British Airways Boeing 747 should not have left the fleet until 2024, despite the fact that, much like the recently retired Delta Boeing 777s, some had newly been refreshed, it was time to say goodbye. She has operated 13,398 flights and flown 59 million miles. Now that the Boeing 747 fleet is being retired, its time to look towards a new era where sustainability and fuel efficiency are kings. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The retirement of the airline’s fleet was brought forward as a result of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic. BA: Farewell to the Boeing 747 aircraft – Queen of the skies. British Airways acknowledged this, stating, “The airline’s jumbo jets are currently grounded at various locations in the UK and are now only expected to reach heights of 35,000 feet as they make their final journeys.”. Given this statement, it seems unlikely that any farewell flights will be conducted for the airline. However, as so many have become deeply attached to the type, there was tremendous hope that it would make it through the crisis. 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. G-CIVY entered service in September 1998. BBC Breakfast filmed the take-off. On 11 August 2014, flight BA78 arrived at London Heathrow from Accra in Ghana. As a result, flyers were unable to celebrate the legendary aircraft with goodbye flights or final departures on the airframes. This is the official British Airways video to commemorate the last two B747s departing from Heathrow on 8 October 2020. Join us live as we bid a final farewell to Vb (Negus) and VY, the last of the BA 747 fleet. The aircraft is now passing over Berkshire as it heads away from Heathrow. This time last year, the British Airways Boeing 747 was the center of attention as Britain’s flag carrier geared up to celebrate its 100th birthday. They were known by British Airways as The Queen Of The Skies. British Airways announced it is bidding a fond farewell to its fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft – a plane fondly known as ‘The Queen of the Skies’. Follow these easy steps to disable AdBlock, Follow these easy steps to disable AdBlock Plus, Follow these easy steps to disable uBlock Origin, Follow these easy steps to disable uBlock, joined the airline’s predecessor, BOAC, in 1970, 30 passenger Boeing 747 aircraft actively flying, previously warned that it was on the cards, According to a letter sent to BA staff last night, Britain’s flag carrier geared up to celebrate its 100th birthday, a Boeing 787 named after the airline’s late heritage director, Paul Jarvis, has already been ferried to aircraft graveyards, Qantas hosted a series of three farewell flights, the three retro-jets, plus a fourth Chatham Dockyard aircraft, has an order with Boeing for up to 42 777Xs, Boeing still needs to complete flight testing of the 777X, Jetstar Investigates After A Passenger’s Cherries Are Eaten By Staff, Delta’s CEO Believes Vaccines Are The Key To Restoring Travel, How South American Airlines Are Responding To New COVID Variants, United States DOT Outlines Service Requirements For Funding, Volotea Operates Europe’s Last Scheduled Boeing 717 Flights. It shouldn’t come as a total shock that British Airways is retiring the Boeing 747 early. the airline's two aircraft took to the skies, In pictures: British Airways 747s bid farewell from Heathrow, 'We will miss seeing them grace our skies', The Queen of the Skies leaves Heathrow for the final time, Areas of Guildford where you're most likely to catch coronavirus according to infection rates, The latest figures show Guildford has the lowest infection rate in Surrey, Covid testing rolled out at three Surrey schools to keep children and staff safe, The Guildford Educational Partnership has instituted a rigorous testing programme to keep schools Covid-secure, Temporary mortuary being used as Surrey hospital struggles to deal with bodies, More than half of those being kept at the facility reportedly died with coronavirus, Surrey coronavirus death toll rises by another 26, The UK death toll has risen by more than 500 again, Surrey Police arrest man over sexual exposure on Basingstoke Canal towpath in Woking, A 46-year-old man has been released on police bail, Level crossing at Ash station to be replaced by bridge after plan approved, The current level crossing leads to serious congestion at busy times, Artist calling himself 'Barksy' creates paintings using dog poo, Super healthy overnight oats breakfast recipe everyone is going crazy for, It can easily be made gluten-free and vegan-friendly too, If you're not fan of waiting ages for this level crossing to let you through, there's some good news, Surrey County Council is less likely to give a Blue Badge to people with non-visible disabilities, investigation finds, The authority has approved 91 per cent of applications since 2019, but only 26 per cent of those for non-visible conditions, Headley Court is being used as a temporary mortuary because a hospital is struggling to deal with the number of dead bodies, The number of empty shops in Epsom and the new stores that opened in 2020, Epsom BID has revealed some signs of positivity after a disastrous year for British high streets, Aldi is set to open a new store just outside Surrey, Once open, the store will create up to 50 jobs in the area, Surrey Police officer 'pushed over and assaulted' by man at party breaching Covid rules, The officer suffered a minor injury to his finger and is expected to be back on duty on his next shift, Boy, 16, charged with attempted murder after Oxted New Year's Eve stabbing, The victim is making a good recovery at home but is "extremely shaken" by the incident, police say, Bobby Davro devastated as 'best friend' dad dies aged 95 after Covid forced them apart, "Today I lost my best friend and my hero. Simple Flying understands that British Airways is temporarily suspending its 747 fleet after a tweet was shared yesterday. However, the sad reality is that most will likely end up getting stored in the desert or scrapped. ReddIt. One person has described saying farewell to them as harder than a break-up! The COVID-19 pandemic forced British Airways to abruptly end their 747 operations due to a lack of passengers in July 2020. BA’s predecessor BOAC introduced the 747 on the London-New York route in 1971, and at its peak BA had 57 747-400s. Sign up to our daily aviation news digest. According to a letter sent to BA staff last night, the 747 is an ‘airliner of another era’. 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. By. However, there is a slim possibility that this could be the case. Captain Al Bridger, who flies for British Airways and piloted one of the 747s on its last ever departure from Heathrow, British Airways’ remaining two Boeing 747 aircraft based at Heathrow taxi for take off for the last time, BA's 747 with a registration of G-CIVY passing over Berkshire after doing a flypast at Heathrow. Be in the know. The live video can be watched below: The farewell flight is getting global attention, with this enthusiast watching from his home in New Zealand, Watching the goodbye of British Airways 747-400's from my lounge in Tauranga, New Zealand!Goodbye your Majesty!#BA747Farewell @scottiebateman @DaveWallsworth pic.twitter.com/F2z87uKBXB. Print. The airline also has an order with Boeing for up to 42 777Xs. Her last passenger flight was April 6, 2020 from Miami to Heathrow. Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO has provided his reaction. However, last night the queen’s 50-year reign came to an end as British Airways confirmed the retirement of the type. “This is not how we wanted or expected to have to say goodbye to our incredible fleet of 747 aircraft. Working closely with British Airways, Lufthansa and others, Tom provides commentary on topical issues for outlets including the BBC. Alas, it was not to be. At the time, it was named the City of Swansea. We use ads to keep our content free. The fuel-hungry Boeing 747 aircraft were slowly being phased out by British Airways as they reached the end of their working life. This included several Lufthansa Boeing 747-8s. British Airways has been the biggest operator of 747-400 passenger planes, but alas no more, as they plan to retire them all remaining Jumbo’s in their fleet over the next few months, blaming COVID-19. Linkedin. This morning, October 8th, British Airways’ remaining 2 Boeing 747-400s based at Heathrow taxied for take off for the last time. British Airways’ final two Heathrow based Boeing 747 aircraft are set to depart from the airport for the very last time. It is a heart-breaking decision to have to make. Share. @TomBurridgebbc is live at Heathrow on #BBCBreakfast https://t.co/JMjSvPupEr pic.twitter.com/dBAUNb2bRi. In March last year, it once again donned the Landor livery and was retitled as the City of Swansea. Indeed, just yesterday, Simple Flying reported that there were only 30 passenger Boeing 747 aircraft actively flying around the world. BA farewells 747s. The farewell flight will also include an exclusive ground tour and a flight over Japan’s Mount Fuji. Not long now, G-CIVB entered service in February 1994. It's currently climbing into the cloudy sky again. Let us know your favorite memory of the type down in the comments below! In the years since, British Airways has continually operated the Boeing 747, switching from the -100 to the -200 and then the -400. 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