British Airways will send its final 747s to retirement with simultaneous Heathrow takeoff tomorrow

Oct 7, 2020

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British Airways is giving AvGeeks one last opportunity to say goodbye to its Queen of the Skies.

On Wednesday, the carrier officially announced its farewell flight plans from Heathrow for its Boeing 747s. Thursday morning, the airline’s two remaining 747s will depart London Heathrow for the last time.

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Just two 747s in BA colours remain at Heathrow — G-CIVB and G-CIVY. At approximately 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, the two aircraft will simultaneously takeoff from Heathrow’s two runways. Then, G-CIVY will fly past the airport, along the southerly runway, “as it bids its home a final farewell”, BA said. The aircraft will head to Wales, joining the rest of the retired fleet.

If you can’t make it to Heathrow yourself tomorrow, TPG U.K. Director of Content Nicky Kelvin will be at the airport to livestream the event on the TPG U.K. Instagram account. Be sure you tune in to catch the special event around 8:30 a.m.

RHOOSE, WALES - JULY 17: British Airways branded Boeing 747 planes sit grounded at Cardiff Airport during the coronavirus lockdown period on July 17, 2020 in Rhoose, Wales. British Airways, owned by International Airlines Group (IAG), has said it will retire all of its Boeing 747's with immediate effect. The 747's represent about 10% of BA's total fleet. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

It’s worth noting that the event is weather dependant and could be delayed.

Related: A date with the Queen is always a pleasure: British Airways’ 747 in Club World from London to New York

G-CIVB, which is painted in the airline’s Negus retro livery, entered service on 15 February 1994 and flew 59 million miles across 13,398 flights over the course of 118,445 hours. Its last passenger flight was on 6 April 2020, from Miami to Heathrow.

Meanwhile, G-CIVY, which is painted in the airline’s current Chatham Dockyard livery, entered service on 29 September 1998. It flew 45 million miles across 11,034 flights over the course of 90,161 hours. Its last passenger flight was on 20 March 2020, from Chicago to Heathrow.

“Tomorrow will be a difficult day for everybody at British Airways as the aircraft leaves our home at Heathrow for the very last time”, BA CEO Alex Cruz said in a statement.

Related: 5 reasons why the British Airways Boeing 747 was so special

BA is also encouraging AvGeeks to share their memories of the Queen of the Skies on social media at 7:47 a.m. and 7:47 p.m. on Thursday by using the tag #BA747farewell.

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the retirement of BA’s 747s, which was originally set for 2023. In July, the carrier abruptly announced that its remaining fleet of 747s would be retired, effective immediately, with each having operated its final commercial service.

Related: 50 years of the Boeing 747 in 11 photos

Featured photo courtesy of British Airways.

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