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See photos and video of yesterday’s BA Boeing 747 retirement – and take our BA 747 quiz!

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Yesterday marked the final departure of the final two British Airways Boeing 747s from Heathrow Airport as the aircraft enter retirement.

BA 747 retirement pilot

Whilst the two aircraft were due to make a dual synchronised take-off, inclement weather meant that this was not possible. There was extremely poor visibility, reduced by the drizzle and very low lying clouds.

BA 747 retirement pilot (2)
Just three pilots were on board each aircraft to ferry them over to their retirement homes

Instead, G-CIVB lifted off at 8:40am and G-CIVY followed one minute later, managing to complete its flyover of the runway at 1000 feet.

BA 747 retirement Concorde tail
G-CIVY with the tail of Concorde in the foreground

The aircraft headed to different destinations – one to Cotswold Airport at Kemble and one to St Athan Airport in Wales – where they are being stored until their final fate, scrap or sale, is decided.

The weather wasn’t good in the Cotswolds either with winds of 20+ knots, which meant that G-CIVB had to circle seven times before finally making an approach.

BA 747 retirement nose to nose
At one stage, the aircraft were nose-to-nose (with a bit of perspective magic!)

As well as photographs, British Airways supplied this video. If you cannot see the video, click here. Full credit to the team who turned this around in just a few hours:

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.

BA 747 retirement

Join us on Instagram for a BA Boeing 747 quiz!

To mark the occasion we thought it would be fun to host a BA Boeing 747 quiz on our Instagram story this afternoon. You can follow us @HeadForPoints or by clicking here.

The quiz will be on our story from midday. Here is your starter for 10 – In which James Bond film was a British Airways Boeing 747 First Class cabin featured?

Comments (14)

  • planeconcorde says:

    My first ever long haul flight as a child was on a BA 747. My latest long haul flight was in January 2020 also on a BA 747. Plus many more 747 flights in between. Flying on the upper deck was always a great experience whether it was in economy on a BA747-200 with the converter seats or BA747-400 in Club World.

  • AJA says:

    It’s typical the weather on Wednesday was lovely and it is again today but the day BA chooses to say good bye to the 747 it was awful. A very sad day.

  • Dean moran says:

    Flew on g-awno in 1977 to the west indies ist time on a plane magnificent aircraft sad to see the last flights yesterday

  • Dubious says:

    Bye bye…how long until the next video

  • Kerry says:

    First ever 747 flight (JFK-LHR) was on Pan Am -100 series in the 80s, and my last (likely) one was luckily enough in the nose on BA last December on an Xmas eve flight to IAD.

    For all the complaints that they were showing their age, I still found the 747 one of the most comfortable aircraft in the fleet, and the memories and associations I have with that jet are powerful, as I am sure they are for most people on here.

    Lovely farewell video and thanks for sharing it!