The Last British Airways Heathrow 747s Will Depart Tomorrow (Flypast Arranged)

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Well that was quick! In the middle of July, British Airways announced that it would be retiring all of its Boeing 747s, in the middle of August the retirements began, and now we’re being told that the last two British Airways 747 based at London Heathrow will depart tomorrow morning.

The last two British Airways 747s based at London Heathrow carry the registrations G-CIVB and G-CIVY and are painted in the historic Negus livery and the current Chatham Dockyard livery respectively.

At 08:30 tomorrow, 8 October, British Airways has arranged for the two aircraft to perform a synchronized dual take-off on parallel runways which will then be followed by G-CIVY performing a flypast along Heathrow’s southerly runway*.

*This is all subject to the British weather being favorable

Per British Airways:

“Celebrating the occasion in a virtual way to keep spectators safe, the airline will be live streaming moments from the departure on its Facebook page and is also inviting its colleagues, aviation enthusiasts and customers to share any special memories or photos of British Airways’ 747s on social media channels at 7:47am and 7.47pm on their departure day using the hashtag #BA747farewell.”

The airline has also said that it expects its last 747’s (which are currently on the ground in Wales) to leave the fleet by the end of the year but, effectively, they are already retired.

About The Last Two Heathrow 747s

Some statistics, courtesy of British Airways:

British Airways 747 G-CIVB

  • Entered service 15 February 1994
  • Retired 8 September 2020
  • Last passenger flight was on 6 April 2020 from Miami to Heathrow
  • Current livery: Negus
  • Previous livery: Landor and was named ‘City of Litchfield’
  • The aircraft operated approximately 13,398 flights
  • The aircraft was flown for approximately 118,445 hours
  • The aircraft flew approximately 59 million miles

British Airways 747 G-CIVY

  • Entered service 29 September 1998
  • Retired 8 September 2020
  • Last passenger flight was on 20 March 2020 from Chicago to Heathrow
  • Last freighter flight was on 5 April 2020 from Dallas to Heathrow
  • Current livery: Chatham Dockyard
  • The aircraft operated approximately 11,034 flights
  • The aircraft was flown for approximately 90,161 hours
  • The aircraft flew approximately 45 million miles

Bottom Line

I’m not a particularly emotional person but I’m genuinely saddened to see the 747’s disappear. From a personal point of view its fitting that one of the two last 747s to depart Heathrow will be in the airline’s Negus livery as that was the livery borne by the first 747 I ever traveled in and it’s the first British Airways livery I can remember seeing.

I know that progress is generally a good thing, but sometimes I can’t help but feel that we lose something special in the name of progress. This is one of those times.

Featured image courtesy of British Airways


  1. The “seven four” had a long and productive life. It was a great aircraft to fly. Smooth and easy to maneuver. Very forgiving. Yet agile and responsive. I retired with over 7500 hours on the aircraft. I miss flying her and will miss seeing her. She was a graceful lady.

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