Since the announcement in July that the final British Airways 747 flight had taken place, the type has slowly but surely left what has been the types home base for the best part of 50 years.
Since the end of March, British Airways 747 fleet has been mostly parked at Heathrow and their maintenence base at Cardiff. However, the fleet has been rapidly leaving the London airport since G-CIVD departed in mid-August.
For the most part, the final British Airways 747 flights have been made into RAF Kemble for scrap. Rumours have circulated online over the past couple of days that G-CIVB will be preserved at the airport. This aircraft wears the Negus livery, re-introduced in 2019 as part of the airlines 100th anniversary celebrations.
The initial plan was for the two aircraft to depart simultaneously from each runway at Heathrow. However, the weather didn’t cooperate. This meant that the two aircraft departed in a more normal fashion, one after the other. Where as G-CIVB flew to Kemble, G-CIVY made its way to St Athan in South Wales. So look out for that one during the second series of plane reclaimers…
Part of the plan did workout however. G-CIVY still circled the airfield to perform a flypast. It then continued on its way to St Athan.
It’s Not Just The End For BA
The final British Airways 747 flights aren’t just the end of an era for the airline. But also the airport. There are now no scheduled Boeing 747 flights at the airport. However, this could change. Korean Air have been using their Boeing 747-8i into the airport interchangeably with the Airbus A380 for the past few years now. China Airlines also operate the latest variant of the type, so it might not be completely out of the question that they will send the type to Heathrow at some point in the future too. The only other airline to operate the newest variant of the Boeing 747 is Lufthansa. Being based in Germany, its highly unlikely that they will ever send a Boeing 747 to Heathrow on a scheduled basis.
Whilst this marks the final British Airways 747 departures from the airport, Virgin Atlantic still have G-VROS stored outside their hangar. Although with an upcoming career in the USA beckoning, this one won’t be around for too long either.
Heathrow will be a very different place without the Jumbo Jet.