British Airways sent an email to staff late last night confirming its plans to retire its entire fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft. A special liveried Boeing 747 takes to the skies alongside the Red Arrows during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo on July 20, 2019. G-BNLA, the first one ever delivered, remained in the fleet until February 2018, when it was retired. British Airways said the retirement of its jumbo jet fleet will start on Tuesday when the first of its 31 remaining Boeing 747s takes off from Heathrow and heads to Spain to be scrapped. It is a heart-breaking decision to have to make," Alex Cruz, BA chairman and CEO, said in July following the announcement that the planes would be retired. The decision to retire the aircraft ahead of schedule shows the scale of the ongoing reduction in demand seen by the company from the COVID-19 pandemic. The final flight was live streamed on the airline's, There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. BA said it was already "slowly" phasing out the "fuel-hungry" aircraft in order to help meet a commitment to "net zero by 2050.". “While the aircraft will always have a special place in our heart, as we head into the future we will be operating more flights on modern, fuel-efficient aircraft,” BA said. When I think of the 747, two airlines come to mind — British Airways and Lufthansa. The oneworld alliance member is the world's largest operator of the 747-400 jumbo jet, with 31 in the fleet. Other airlines have already begun phasing the model out in favor of newer, more economical aircraft. One of the airplanes, G-CIVY, circled back over the runway before flying to St. Athan, Wales, to be retired, while the other, G-CIVB, will be kept at Kemble, England. The 747 is an incredibly special plane.It changed global aviation, and it’s also the most gorgeous plane in the world, in my opinion. The aircraft was also home to BA's' very first flat bed seat, which it introduced in 1999. British Airways is retiring its 747s © NurPhoto / Getty Images Next time you're gazing out across the tarmac at Heathrow Airport, you're going to see a much different view – namely, a dearth of the 31 747 jumbo jets that have been a part of British Airways' fleet since July of 1989. In July 1989, BA took its first 747-400 -- the same model as flies today -- to the skies. The airline was forced to store all of its 28 747-400s due to reduced demand in the midst of the respiratory disease pandemic. Airlines around the world have struggled to cope with the collapse in demand caused by the pandemic. In the U.K., British Airways, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic have all announced job cuts and reduced operations. "The 747s have played a huge role in our 100-year history, forming the backbone of our fleet for over 50 years. But the newly-installed CEO now touts the decision as a huge boost to British Airways’ sustainability efforts. Per FlightGlobal, IAG’s Chief Financial Officer has said that British Airways plans to retire their fleet of Boeing 747sby February 2024. British Airways will remove 13 of its 747s that did not receive a cabin retrofit from its fleet over the next four years, the last exiting the fleet in Nov. 2022. ‘Victor Delta’ is expected to fly from London Heathrow tomorrow and make its way to Castellon Airport, … The announcement that BA is sending what remains of its 747-400 fleet into early retirement was expected, but still big news. British Airways retires its final 747 airplane | CNN Travel Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Well, we now have a better sense of what the future of the plane looks like. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would examine the idea of a scrappage scheme for old and highly polluting aircraft. We’ve seen airlines around the world retire the 747 long before the current pandemic, given that there are more fuel efficient and lower capacity long range planes nowadays.. The airline brought forward the retirement of its fleet of 747-400 aircraft due to … Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all, Why this space age airplane could change flying forever, Last ever Airbus A380 superjumbo assembled in France. © 2021 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. BA’s predecessor, BOAC, first used the 747 in 1971 and as with many airlines, the plane — affectionately referred to as either the “jumbo jet” or the “queen of the skies” — became a symbol of the new age of mass travel to all corners of the planet. More than 1,500 jumbos were produced by Boeing, and it has historically been a commercial success for the manufacturer and the airlines. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, BA … British Airway retired the last of its huge. 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," he added. But earlier this year, the company released a statement to say that the planes had likely flown their last scheduled commercial service -- despite recently refreshing the interiors of the planes having expected them to remain in service for several years. British Airways will remove 13 of its 747s that did not receive a cabin retrofit from its fleet over the next four years, the last exiting the fleet in Nov. 2022. British Airways the latest of Boeing 747-400 retiree, G-CIVD, to an airport in Spain tomorrow as the airline begins the retirement of its final 31 jumbo jets. It’s actually the second 747 on the property, though the first has a pure-white exterior. It had 30 aircraft in its fleet prior to the coronavirus pandemic. British Airways Announces Immediate Retirement of 747 Fleet. "Today was an emotional milestone in the retirement of our 747 fleet as it was our last chance to see the Queen of the Skies depart from our home at Heathrow airport," Cruz said Thursday. Unite, a union that represents many workers in the aviation industry, urged the government to use the retirement of the 747 to bring forward an aircraft scrappage scheme to boost investments in greener aircraft as well as aerospace manufacturing. But the pandemic, which has seen most of the world’s planes grounded for the best part of three months, has hastened its journey into retirement, especially as forecasters predict that passenger numbers will remain lower than normal, potentially for years to come. BRITISH AIRWAYS has bid adieu to its iconic 747 aircraft. Known as "Queen of the Skies" and popular among aviation fanatics, the Boeing airplane has fallen out of favor in recent years as airlines switch to more efficient smaller passenger jets. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2020/07/17/ British Airways Boeing 747's at London Heathrow airport showing the new Chatham Dockyard tailfin design. The original aircraft, which featured 27 First Class and 292 Economy seats, featured an upper deck containing a lounge. While the airline c… British Airways Defends Its Decision To Retire 747 Matthew Klint November 4, 2020 6 Comments British Airways abruptly retired its fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft over the summer, blaming COVID-19. The plane was the largest commercial aircraft in the world, until the arrival of the Airbus A380 in 2007. 18 aircraft have been retrofitted with fresh seat covers and new inflight entertainment systems and will continue to fly for the next few years, with the airline aiming to accelerate the retirement once the older aircraft depart the fleet by the end of 2022. "This is not how we wanted or expected to have to say goodbye to our incredible fleet of 747 aircraft. BA said that the jumbo jets, one dressed in "Negus" design and the other bearing Chatham Dockyard livery, took to the skies "one after the other" from Heathrow's 27R runway. According to the carrier, the goal is to have the last Boeing 747-400 exit the fleet by Feb. 2024. Just 30 of the planes were in service as of Tuesday, with a further 132 in storage, according to aviation data firm Cirium. They plan to phase out the aircraft in stages, with half of their 747s being phased out by 2021. The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), one of BA's predecessors, operated its first 747 London to New York flights in 1971. British Airways has been quietly retiring its 747-400s, shrinking from 57 in 2008 to 32 at the end of last year. “British Airways’ retirement of the 747 should be the impetus he needs to put such a scheme into action,” Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy said. Other companies that have recently withdrawn the aircraft type from service include Australia’s Qantas and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. British Airway has announced that it will immediately retire its Boeing 747 fleet following the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. British Airways originally planned to retire the jumbo jets by 2024. British Airways to retire its entire 747 fleet immediately British Airways intends to retire its entire 747 fleet ‘with immediate effect’, bringing forward the aircraft’s complete withdrawal by three years. British Airways is not the first to propose a retirement of the aging Boeing 747, specifically the 747-400 version, amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. The airline, which was the world’s biggest operator of the 747-400 model, had already planned to ground its fleet of 31 of the iconic wide-bodied jets in 2024. Late last night British Airways sent an emotional communication to staff announcing the immediate early retirement of their fleet of 30 Boeing 747-400s. British Airways began to phase out its jumbos in December 2011, with the retirement of two of the oldest frames. “It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies’ will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again due to the downturn in travel caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.”. “It is with great sadness that we can confirm we are proposing to retire our entire 747 fleet with immediate effect,” BA said in a statement. The airline notified staff via letter, and subsequently publicly confirmed, its intention to … But its heyday is long in the past and any sight of the jet, with its distinctive hump at the top, is now a rarity. 18 aircraft have been retrofitted with fresh seat covers and new inflight entertainment systems and will continue to fly for the next few years, with the airline aiming to accelerate the retirement once the older aircraft depart the fleet by the end of 2022. LONDON (AP) — The “queen of the skies” will no longer don the red, white and blue of the Union Jack after British Airways retired its fleet of Boeing 747s on Friday as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. British Airways announced earlier this year that it plans to retire all its 747 jets by 2024. Footage from Heathrow Airport this morning shows the huge planes jetting off for the very last time. British Airways’ 747-400s have a capacity of 345 passengers and can reach a top speed of 614 mph (988 kph). 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