British Airways retires first Boeing 747

Editorial

British Airways is today saying goodbye to the first out of its final 31 retiring Boeing 747s. The airline announced last month that it is phasing out all four-engined Jumbos early.

The Boeing 747-400, registration G-CIVD, will depart from London Heathrow on Tuesday, 18 August at 9am local time under flight number BA9170E after more than 25 years of flying. British Airways’ fleet of 747s is being retired at an accelerated rate as a result of the crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The airline doesn’t expect the aviation sector to recover to 2019 levels until at least 2024*.

Director of Flight Operations Al Bridger 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.”

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. Read the article below to learn more about the retiring of the 31 Queens of the Skies.

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