Saturday, 22 August 2020

British Airways retires the first of 31 Boeing 747 jumbos

Photo British Airways

It seems like only a few days ago that the UK's British Airways advised that it was dropping the Boeing 747 from its fleet earlier than planned, blaming the current coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic from reduced demand.

On Tuesday 18th August the airline retired the first of its 31 these giant passenger aircraft. The Boeing 747-400, registration G-CIVD, departed from London Heathrow in the morning, under flight number BA9170E after more than 25 magnificent years of flying.

The aircraft received an emotional farewell from the NATS Air Traffic Control Tower at Heathrow Airport.

British Airways’ fleet of 747s are being retired at an accelerated rate as a result of the mass downgrade of the once former great airline by the firm's management, blamed on the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic. To protect shareholders' interests the management is dramatically cutting the workforce, forcing staff to reapply for positions on lower pay and much worse conditions as it seeks to cut costs, 

Al Bridger, British Airways’ Director of Flight Operations, said: “All of us at British Airways and so many of our customers will have fond memories and special moments from our travels on the iconic jumbo jet.
“As a pilot who was lucky enough to fly the aircraft, the sheer scale of it was unforgettable, you literally looked down on other aircraft. It changed aviation forever when it arrived in the skies and I know I speak for our customers and the global aviation community when I say, despite rightly moving to more sustainable ways of flying, we will still miss the 747 dearly.”
Photo British Airways
British Airways 747 - G-CIVD fact file:
Date it entered service
14 December 1994
Retirement date
19 August 2020
Popular / recent routes
Last flight was to Lagos, part of the repatriation effort, on 18 April 2020
Liveries worn
Landor – ‘City of Coventry’
Current: Union Flag / Chatham Dockyard with oneworld logo
Seating configuration
First: 14
Club: 52
World Traveller Plus: 36
World Traveller: 243
Facts and stats (approximate)
Top speed: 565mph
Take off speed: 180mph
Length: 70.6m, Height: 19.41m, Wingspan: 64.4m
Weight: 184 tonnes, maximum take-off weight 378 tonnes
4 x Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines
Flown 115,276.8 hours, 13,364 flights and over 50 million miles
Photo British Airways
The 747 has been an iconic part of British Airways’ fleet for nearly fifty years. At one point the airline operated 57 of the aircraft, with the jumbo jet’s first flight to New York in 1971.


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