British Airways has retired its first Boeing 777-200. The aircraft, registered as G-ZZZC was delivered to the airline on the 11th of November 1995 and has since flown almost 50 million miles across the world.
The Boeing 777 is the backbone of the British Airways long haul fleet. However, as some are approaching a quarter of a century old, the airline is looking to start retiring the older ones. This started yesterday with G-ZZZC, the first Boeing 777 that was delivered to the airline, and only the sixth 777 to be delivered worldwide according to Planespotters.net.
It also has an interesting registration. British Airways told us that ZZZ was chosen, as it looks incredibly similar to the number 777. Now, the aircraft has been flown to St Athans, where it will be scrapped.
Quite the lifetime
In its 24 years of service for the British flag carrier, G-ZZZC has been quite the work-horse. British Airways told Simple Flying that, in its lifetime, the Boeing 777 has flown for 20,663 cycles. In this time it has flown for an amazing 100,311 hours, visiting countries all over the world.
While no records of how far the aircraft has flown, or how many passengers it has carried are readily available, British Airways did crunch the numbers for us. The British flag carrier estimates that the Boeing 777 has flown a total of 48,747,470 miles. If the aircraft was a rocket ship, it could have made 117 return flights to the moon.
However, an incredible number of passengers have flown onboard the aircraft. British Airways believes that G-ZZZC has flown somewhere in the region of 3,809,265 passengers.
The aircraft’s final passenger rotation saw it head down to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. It departed for the journey on the 11th of January. This flight saw it in the skies for five and a half hours, landing in Abuja at 05:15 on the 12th.
Following its final few hours on foreign soil, the aircraft departed Abuja at 09:22. After six hours in the skies, it touched down for the final time at London Heathrow Airport at 14:22.
The aircraft then remained on the ground for its last night at Heathrow, where it had spent the majority of the last 24 years. At 10:07 yesterday, the Boeing 777 took off from Heathrow bound for its final resting place. This was St Athan near Cardiff. Towards the end of last year, Simple Flying reported about a Boeing 747 which was flown here for retirement.
The aircraft reached a height of 13,000 feet, however, spent far more time descending than the climb and the cruise combined. At 10:47, just 40 minutes after leaving Heathrow, the aircraft touched down for the final time, set to be stripped of valuable parts, and then scrapped.
Did you fly on G-ZZZC during its life in service? Let us know where it took you and what you remember in the comments!