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The final BA Boeing 747s depart Heathrow on Thursday – but one will be preserved

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Heathrow will see the final take-off of a British Airways Boeing 747 on Thursday with the departure of the last two planes.

The two aircraft involved are the Negus-painted G-CIVB and G-CIVY, which has BA’s ‘normal’ Chatham Dockyard livery.

Pending any weather changes, the aircraft will get a special send off with a synchronised dual take off from Heathrow’s parallel runways at 8:30am on Thursday morning.

This will be followed by fly past along the southerly runway by one of the aircraft (G-CIVY in current BA livery).

This would normally be impossible, of course, with a take-off or landing every 90 seconds, but at the moment….

British Airways will be live streaming the event from 7:40am on its Facebook page, and is encouraging people to use the hashtag #BA747farewell on social media at 7:47am and 7:47pm. You should also be able to watch the event on BBC and Sky.

We will either update this article with any photos we receive or, depending on when the arrive, do a separate article for Friday. The BBC and Sky crews are the only media to be invited.

Both aircraft are due to head to Cotsworld Airport, formerly RAF Kemble, in Gloucestershire for storage.

British Airways 747 G-CIVB

Service entryFebruary 15, 1994
Retirement dateSeptember 08, 2020
Recent routesLast passenger flight was 6th April 2020 from Miami to Heathrow.
Fact and stats  G-CIVB flew 118,445 hours across 13,398 flights spanning 59 million miles.

British Airways 747 G-CIVY

Service entrySeptember 29, 1998
Retirement dateSeptember 08, 2020
Recent routesLast passenger flight was 20th March 2020 from Chicago to Heathrow
LiveryChatham Dockyard
Fact and stats  G-CIVY flew 90,161 hours across 11,034 flights spanning 45 million miles

Catch up on our Boeing 747 articles

It was back in July that we found out that the Boeing 747 fleet was heading for early retirement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. You can read our original article on the news here.

We followed up with a two-part story detailing the events that lead to the design and development of the 747 at Boeing in the 1960s as well as an article on the history of the Boeing 747 at British Airways.

British Airways to preserve one Boeing 747?

Rumours have been swirling of one 747 being preserved for posterity.

Simple Flying suggests that G-CIVB, the Negus liveried aircraft, will not be sent for scrap. Whether it stays in Kemble at Cotswold Airport long term remains to be seen, although it will only remain airworthy for a limited period without preventative maintenance.

The remaining British Airways Concorde is parked at Heathrow and is inaccessible to the public. Perhaps retaining the Boeing 747 will encourage it to finally arrange public access to both aircraft.

Comments (35)

  • Tariq says:

    Are the Concordes at MAN and Brooklands not BA ones? Bristol Aero museum has one too I think.

  • BJ says:

    Thanks Rhys, I have a soft spot for the 747 but seriously doubt I’ll have the pleasure of flying one again. Just a reminder for anybody who wants to get up close to Concorde, you can do so at the Scottish National Museum of Flight near Edinburgh.

    Others in Bristol and Manchester too I think.

  • Gavin says:

    Concorde’s are also at the Fleet Air Arm museum near Yeovil and Duxford.

    I visited Bristol a few weeks ago – tbh not much there other than Concorde.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    Note: this is not the last flight of a BA747. There are a handful still parked down in cardiff.

  • John W says:

    Thanks for the info Rhys . May log on for the fanfare 😁. Never did manage to do that club world on the BA 747 . Upstairs was exclusive from what I have read on here

    • Ben says:

      I did it last year in way to Washington it’s a whole other world up there like a private jet

  • Dwadda says:

    Bye bye 1A and 1K. I will miss the view ahead.

  • James G says:

    Sad to see this but pleased I was able to sample the upper deck and first in the nose over in the last couple of years.

    A combination of work trips and BA’s handy “buy a Club World return, get a free First upgrade one way” offer.

    • Andrew says:

      And thanks to this site for helping us navigate an affordable way to fly First

      • James G says:

        Very true! (Although sadly I’ve never been organised enough to manage a to book a long-haul premium cabin via points to somewhere I actually want to visit.)

  • Andrew says:

    It’s a shame they don’t seem to be producing any 7474 merch to sell, they did when Concorde retired. Make them a bit of cash too. United did a great 747 amenity kit which was given away during its final month to business class across the fleet – it will remain in my permanent collection.