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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)

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?

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (14)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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