British Airways has confirmed that its two remaining retro-liveried B747 aircraft have been found permanent homes.
Aircraft G-BNLY was painted in the carrier’s Landor livery last year as part of BA’s centenary celebrations, and will depart from the airline’s engineering base in Cardiff for Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey this month, where it will become a permanent exhibition.
It is the second of BA’s jumbos to be retired to Dunsfold Aerodrome, with aircraft G-CIVW in the carrier’s Chatham Dockyard livery already having made its move there and set to be used as a TV and film set moving forward.
Meanwhile aircraft registration G-BYGC – painted in BA’s BOAC ‘Gold Speedbird’ livery – is to move to the Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan, where it be “maintained as a heritage piece by aviation specialists eCube Solutions to showcase the pre-eminent contribution British Airways’ 747 fleet made to UK aviation”.
A total of four of BA’s B747s have now been saved from the scrapheap, with Negus-liveried aircraft G-CIVB now permanently stationed at Cotswold airport, which plans to convert an area of its interior to be used as a unique business, conferencing and private hire venue, as well as a cinema for locals and an educational facility for school trips.
British Airways announced plans to accelerate the retirement of its B747 fleet earlier this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The airline bid farewell to the jumbo at Heathrow in October, but two B747s had remained in Cardiff until now.
Commenting on the news Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, said:
“While we will miss seeing them grace our skies, we are delighted to have found permanent homes for our remaining centenary 747 aircraft.
“We think they have great historical importance, not only to British Airways but to the entire aviation industry, and we are pleased they will be preserved for future generations in locations in the UK.
“As the final 747s to leave our fleet, their departure will be an emotional moment for former and current British Airways staff, including our engineering team in Cardiff who have lovingly looked after our jumbo jets for decades.”