The last two Boeing 7 747s operated by British Airways have made final flights from Heathrow Airport, after the coronavirus the national carrier will not fly its jumbo jet.
The distinctive four-engine aircraft, at the rear of BA’s long-haul fleet for nearly 50 years, were beloved by pilots, enthusiasts and many passengers – but their noise and fuel consumption would mean few airline accountants, environmentalists alone, would be sorry to see them go.
The BA final pair took off from Heathrow at 4:47 a.m. on Thursday, one after another in the 747s, with one of the spectators circling around the airport for the benefit of the spectators. After completing 104m miles flying between them, the pair’s last trip was a short hop west.
One flew to Campbell Airport in Cotswolds and the other went to St. Ethan in Wales, where they would break down for debris.
BA chief executive Lex Cruz said seeing the so-called queen of the sky for the last time in BA’s colors was an “emotional goal”. “I know I speak for our clients and thousands of colleagues who have spent more of their careers when I say we will miss seeing the grace of their sky.”
The 7s7 was used on long-distance routes, mainly the attractive transatlantic corridors serving a high proportion of business travelers until they were closed by the Covid-1 travel ban.
BAA plans to phase out its 31-strong fleet by 2024 as part of its carbon reduction promises. When the epidemic struck, he decided to retire the fleet permanently.
The airline has cut jumbo jets amid cost cuts, including layoffs of more than 10,000 employees and pay cuts on the remaining employees. Cruise warned last month that while air travel has changed permanently, BA carries less than 20% of its 2019% traffic per day.
At the peak of the aircraft’s popularity, about 1,000 747s were in service worldwide in 1998, but a new pay generation of lighter, more fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft began to suppress it.
According to data from analytics firm Serium, most of the remaining 7,747 worldwide are cargo planes, with a service of just under 30,000. Of the 157 jumbo used theoretically for passengers, only 35 are in service, the rest in storage.
Freelance twitter maven. Infuriatingly humble coffee aficionado. Amateur gamer. Typical beer fan. Avid music scholar. Alcohol nerd.