a large airplane on the runway

Last day of British Airways 747s — Provisional schedule, fly past and insider final pictures

During the morning of Thursday 8th October 2020 British Airways will say farewell to its last two Heathrow-based Boeing 747-400s after their decision to retire them with immediate effect due to the coronavirus pandemic.

British Airways G-CIVB Boeing 747 with Negus Retro Livery
G-CIVB in British Airways Negus livery

The two remaining aircraft are G-CIVB and G-CIVY which are painted in the retro Negus and current Chatham Dockyard liveries respectively. As a special treat British Airways has arranged a rarely-seen synchronised dual take off on Heathrow's parallel runways, which will be followed by fly past along the southerly runway by G-CIVY as it bids its home a final farewell. Readers in the UK should be able to follow along on BBC News or Sky News. Non-UK readers can follow along via Sky News' Youtube Channel and British Airways will also be streaming the event on their Facebook Page.

British Airways Boeing 747

Be sure to flood the British Airways social media channels at 07:47am and 07.47pm on Thursday with B747 pictures and tag it with #BA747farewell.

According to my BA contact, depending on the weather, the approximate timings are:

  • 07.40am – Aircraft start to push back
  • 08.15am – Engines power up
  • 08.35am – Aircraft dual take off
  • 08.50am – G-CIVY circle back for a final fly past

They also sent these pictures from the final preparations:

a plane on the runway

Underbelly of British Airways Boeing 747

the cockpit of an airplane

a control panel with buttons and switches

a close up of a book

Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said:

Tomorrow will be a difficult day for everybody at British Airways as the aircraft leaves our home at Heathrow for the very last time. We will pay tribute to them for the incredible part they have played in our 100-year history and to the millions of customers and BA colleagues who have flown on board and taken care of them.

As I mentioned in my nostalgia post I'm not particularly surprised by this decision given British Airways is one of the last airlines to fly the 747-400s. With the global shift towards sustainability and more efficient aircraft, the Queen's days were always numbered.

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