British Airways‘ final two Boeing 747-400s have made their last flights from Heathrow Airport, marking the end of an era for the iconic jet. As G-CIVB and G-CIVY head for an uncertain future in storage, we have complied behind-the-scenes images and flight information.
G-CIVB, painted in the airline’s historic Negus livery, and G-CIVY, in its current Chatham Dockyard livery, are going to be retiring in the UK at Kemble and St Athan, respectively. Between the two aircraft they have flown an impressive 104 million miles, in their 47 years of service, and carried millions of British Airways customers.
Prior to Departure
As both flight crews prepared their respective aircraft for departure, final flight plans were filed with NATS and the onboard computers were programmed.
In command of G-CIVB was Captain Julian Marshall, a 23-year veteran B747 pilot. After his extensive career on the Queen of the Skies, Captain Marshall will begin training on Boeing’s newer instalment – the B787 Dreamliner.
Captain Al Bridger was in command of G-CIVY.
To commemorate the occasion, BA’s two aircraft took to the skies one after the other from runway 27R. Once in the air G-CIVY circled back over the southerly runway in an emotional farewell to its home, before heading to St Athan where the aircraft will be retired.
- G-CIVY’s callsign was BAW747. This 22-year-old aircraft has operated 11,034 flights, totalling over 45 million miles
- G-CIVB’s callsign was BAW400. This 26-year-old aircraft has flown 13,398 flights, equating to over 118,445 flight hours
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz called the loss an “emotional milestone” saying that the airline’s backbone will be a new generation of aircraft.
“I know I speak for our customers, and the many thousands of colleagues, who have spent much of their careers alongside them when I say we will miss seeing them grace our skies.”Alex Cruz, CEO, British Airways
Video of Last BA B747-400
Enjoy the video footage from the last BA B747-400 flight.
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Today 2 @british_airways B747-400 departed together in sequence one after another from their home London Heathrow for retirement (to Kemble and St Athan respectively) Here are the last B747 moments at Heathrow, a rather sad and historical moment. It may the last ever B747-400 passenger to depart Heathrow. (Video footage @britishairwayspr) . . #samchui #britishairways #bafarewell747 #BA747 #Boeing747 #speedbird747 #heathrow #aviation #avgeek #landing
Almost 1,000 B747s were in active service worldwide in 1998, marking a highpoint for this historic aircraft.
In July British Airways announced that their remaining B747s had sadly flown their last commercial services, as a result of the impact the COVID has had on the airline and the aviation sector. The fleet is being replaced by the quieter more fuel-efficient aircraft, as part of the airline’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.