Farewell my queen – BA’s last two B747s at Heathrow take to the skies for the final time – exclusive TLFL shots

Photo by Jetsetting Ben

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British Airways’ remaining two Boeing 747 aircraft based at Heathrow taxied for take-off for the last time today. Paul, Marek and I were all there along with fellow blogger @jettingsettingben who has also supplied us with some great photos.

Pilots prepare for the final flight – photo by BA

Negus ready for pushback – photo by BA

The airport’s fire engines turned on their lights to salute the aircraft as they went past.

Photo by BA

To commemorate the occasion the airline’s two aircraft took to the skies one after the other from runway 27R.

GCIVY taxis to 27R – photo by Jetsetting Ben

Once in the air, G-CIVY circled back over the southerly runway in an emotional farewell to its home before heading to St Athan where the aircraft will be retired.

G-CIVB, painted in the Negus livery was next to taxi for the last time. The Negus livery was revived last year to celebrate BA’s centenary. The livery was first used in 1973 when BOAC and BEA merged.

GCIVB taxis to 27R – photo by Jetsetting Ben

G-CIVB, painted in the airline’s historic Negus livery and G-CIVY, in its current Chatham Dockyard livery, are going to be retiring in the UK at Kemble and St Athan, respectively. Between the two aircraft, they have flown an impressive 104 million miles in their 47 years of service and carried millions of British Airways customers.

You can see all our videos from the day on our YouTube channel.

Photo by Marek. IG @geram23

GCIVB disappears into the clouds for the final timePhoto by Marek. IG @geram23

At 7:47am this morning, hundreds of aviation enthusiasts and customers flooded social media sharing their favourite 747 memories using #BA747farewell.

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.”

Here is the official video from British Airways. I felt very emotional watching this. I have been lucky to fly the B747 in all four cabins over the years. My favorite was always the Upper Deck. I can’t believe I will never get to sit in my favourite seat 62K ever again! Sob!

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.

On the ground at St Athan’s GCIVY

To express its gratitude to the millions of people who flew on the jets, British Airways is also offering a jumbo reduction on seven hundred and forty seven (747) Club World seats which will be on sale on ba.com for just £999 for the lucky customers that find them. The limited number of ultra-low fare seats are live now to popular destinations that the airline’s Queen of The Skies used to fly to which will include Miami, Dallas and Cape Town. You can read more about it here. 

1 Comment on "Farewell my queen – BA’s last two B747s at Heathrow take to the skies for the final time – exclusive TLFL shots"

  1. Clive Fletcher-Wood | 10 October 2020 at 12:45 pm | Reply

    I do agree MIchele with your sob about 62K. My wife and I were due to fly to New York in April, 62K being one of our booked seats outbound, but returning on the daylight AA flight. I had wondered whether that might be my last 747 flight, but of course that trip was sacrificed to Covid. As LH has 747-8s, which it only recently acquired, I imagine that it might be the last airline operating passenger 747s, but being prisoners of our points Star Alliance isn’t usually useful to us.

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