In July of 2020 British Airways officially announced the retirement of their 747 fleet. By this time only 9 of the 31 remaining aircraft remained at Heathrow, the airport where they have been based for their whole working life. These were :
G-CIVH (Left 31.08.2020)
G-CIVD (Left 18.08.2020)
G-BYGF (Left 26.08.2020)
As you can see now only 6 remain as 3 have already been sent to the scrap.
As I arrived at Heathrow I heard the news G-BYGFs departure had been delayed by around 30-40 minutes. This gave me enough time to visit the other 747s still stored at Heathrow.
G-CIVB, CIVY, CIVI and CIVH all lined up with G-CIVK in the background and G-CIVE on the left. This was probably the last time I’ll ever see a row of 747s lined up at Heathrow.
G-CIVY who was delivered in 1998 and had flown 90,000 hours before lockdown.
G-CIVI (City of Gloucester) which was delivered in 1996 and has 100,000 hours in the air.
G-CIVH (City of Hereford) who was built in 1996 and officially retired on the 31st of August. It had just short of 102,000 hours when it retired.
G-CIVK who was built in 1997 and has 103,700 hours on the clock.
G-CIVB (City of Litchfield) was built in 1994 and is the oldest BA 747 remaining. It has flown 117,000 hours which makes it the 4th most used of the BA 747s. This is behind CIVA (124,700) BNLY (121,600) and (CIVC (120,500)
G-CIVP who operated the last ever commercial 747 service for BA in June. It has flown 102,500 hours and was built in 1998.
And finally G-BYGF. This is the second youngest BA 747 and the first 747 I ever flew back in 2017.
Because of this I wanted to see it leave Heathrow for the last ever time, however…
I positioned myself near the threshold of 27L so I could see it line up and hear the power go in. Sadly though the tower offered him an intersection departure (which he took) and he ended up departing from N4E which is a good 1000m down the runway. So I didn’t even see it in the end. However I managed to grab 1 picture, albeit a dreadful one.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the final departure of G-BYGF :