This year, British Airways revealed that it would be retiring its Boeing 747 fleet with immediate effect. At the time of writing, the airline only has one of the Queen of the Skies remaining in its care, its BOAC retrojet. But where are the others now? Simple Flying decided to find out.
Kemble – England
The majority of British Airways’ Boeing 747s have remained in the United Kingdom. However, most will be scrapped. After the fleet was removed from service, Kemble, otherwise known as Cotswold Airport, began receiving this latest batch of 747s in April and has since taken nine of the jumbo jet. This includes G-CIVB, the airline’s Negus retrojet, which will be preserved at the facility.
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St Athan – Wales
The other site housing many BA 747s is St Athan, a stone’s throw away from the airline’s Cardiff heavy maintenance base. Again, nine aircraft have flown here to be disassembled. Some have even taken on second lives as keyrings. A tenth jumbo jet, G-BYGC, is currently still in Cardiff, making it the last 747 in the British Airways fleet. This aircraft is also due to fly to St Athan. Rather than being scrapped, it will be preserved.
Teruel – Spain
Teruel is a Spanish aircraft graveyard in the north-east of the country. The field has become known as the final destination for many giants of the skies. In early April, British Airways flew five of its 747s to Teruel, at the time for storage. Now that the fleet has been retired, they will likely never leave. However, they have now got company as British Airways recently flew a handful of its oldest A380s down to the storage facility.
Castellon – Spain
Another site in Spain playing host to the Chatham Dockyard liveried Jumbo Jet is Castellon on Spain’s east coast. Three Boeing 747s have flown down to Castellon, and one of them even made the news earlier this month. On November 23rd, G-CIVD caught fire while being dismantled at the facility. It is thought that a spark ignited the aircraft’s insulation.
Newquay – England
One place you may not expect to find a former British Airways Boeing 747 is Cornwall’s Newquay. However, the airport has taken two of the airline’s former aircraft. G-CIVF flew to the facility on October 25th, shortly after G-CIVZ made the journey on October 18th.
Dunsfold – England
That leaves us with just two remaining Boeing 747s, G-CIVB in the Landor livery and G-CIVW in the Chatham Dockyard livery. Both aircraft have been flown to Dunsfold, known for hosting the UK TV show Top Gear. Here, the aircraft will be preserved. They will be placed on exhibition at the site, which they share with a former British Airways Boeing 747-200. However, they are also available to use as film and TV filming sets.
Where did you last see a British Airways Boeing 747? Let us know in the comments!