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British Airways' Last 747s Set To Depart

Wednesday 7 October: British Airways has announced that its final two Heathrow based Boeing 747 aircraft are scheduled to depart from the airport for the very last time tomorrow morning (Thursday 8 October). One aircraft is painted in its heritage ‘Negus’ livery and the other in its current Chatham Dockyard livery.

Thousands of British Airways flight crew, cabin crew and engineering teams have worked over several decades on and with the aircraft during their time at British Airways during a period when they represented the heart of the airline’s long-haul fleet.

To commemorate G-CIVB and G-CIVY’s final take-off from the airport at 08:30am, the airline has arranged a special send off with a unique and rarely seen synchronised dual take off on parallel runways*, which will be followed by fly past along the southerly runway by one of the aircraft (G-CIVY in current BA livery) as it bids its home a final farewell.

Celebrating the occasion in a virtual way to keep spectators safe, the airline will be live streaming moments from the departure on its Facebook page and is also inviting its colleagues, aviation enthusiasts and customers to share any special memories or photos of British Airways’ 747s on social media channels at 7:47am and 7.47pm on their departure day using the hashtag #BA747farewell.

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.

“We hope that Britain will join us in sharing their memories with us on social media at 7:47am and 7.47pm on Thursday using #BA747farewell.”

One of the airline's 747s about to depart London Heathrow in happier times

(Kevan James)

(British Airways)

*The departure of the aircraft and dual runway take-off is weather dependant and could be subject to change on the day.

In July British Airways announced that its remaining 747s had flown their last commercial services as a result of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the airline and the aviation sector. The fleet is being replaced by quieter more fuel-efficient aircraft as part of the airline’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

British Airways expects the last 747s (currently positioned in Wales) to leave the fleet by the end of the year.

Last year to mark its centenary British Airways re-painted three of its jumbo jets in heritage colours donning it’s historic BOAC, Negus and Landor livery The BOAC jet put in a guest appearance with the Red Arrows much to the delight of spectators at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

British Airways 747 G-CIVB

(British Airways)

Date entered service - February 15, 1994

Retirement date - September 08, 2020

Last passenger flight was April 6, 2020 from Miami to Heathrow

Current livery: Negus retro

Previous livery: Landor and was named ‘City of Litchfield’

Facts and stats


Operated 13,398 flights Flown for 118,445 hours

Flown 59 million miles

British Airways 747 G-CIVY

Date entered service - September 29, 1998

Retirement date - September 08, 2020

Last passenger flight was March 20, 2020 from Chicago to Heathrow

April 5, 2020 last freighter flight from Dallas to Heathrow

Livery: Chatham Dockyard

Facts and stats


Operated 11,034 flights

Flown for 90,161 hours

Flown 45 million miles

747 info:

Boeing has been manufacturing 747 aircraft for more than 50 years

BOAC flew its first 747 flight on 14th April 1971

British Airways took delivery of its first 747-400 in July 1989 and its last in April 1999

At its height, the airline had a fleet of 57 747-400s

British Airways was the world’s biggest operator of 747-400 aircraft

The 747-400 has 6ft high winglets on the tips of its wings to improve efficiency

It has 16 main wheels and two nose wheels

The wings of a 747-400 span 213ft and are big enough to accommodate 50 parked cars

The tail height of 64ft is equivalent to a six-storey building

The 747-400 is 231ft long

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