British Airways has now confirmed its plans for a double Boeing 747 departure from London Heathrow Airport tomorrow. The occasion will be the last time that a Boeing 747 in the British Airways livery will ever leave Heathrow, ending an era spanning half a century.
Tomorrow will be a big day for British Airways as it says goodbye to its flagship aircraft. For the past 50 years, the Boeing 747 has been a constant at Heathrow Airport. First in the BOAC livery, before they began to wear British Airways liveries from Negus to Landor, and then the current Chatham Dockyard livery.
Tomorrow’s departure from London Heathrow won’t go unnoticed; British Airways realizes that it will draw national interest. As such, the airline has made some special arrangements with the help of NATS, the National Air Traffic Service. While plans have been made and are currently expected to go ahead, there is a chance that the good old British weather could call off proceedings.
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The current plan starts at 07:40 when the two Boeing 747s are expected to begin their push back from Terminal 5. The two 747s are then expected to power up at 08:15 before taxiing to the runway, which is likely to be 27L and 27R. Then, at 08:35, both aircraft will power down the two Heathrow runways simultaneously. Such a maneuver is rarely seen at Heathrow Airport.
However, that’s not all that the airline has in store. Following this, G-CIVY will return to Heathrow Airport for one final time. The aircraft won’t land, but if all goes to plan with the weather, the aircraft will perform a flypast of Heathrow along runway 09R-27L to bid farewell to the airport it has called home for the past 22 years.
How to be involved
Due to the current pandemic, British Airways will celebrate this historic moment online, rather than hosting a farewell event at Heathrow. The airline is inviting everyone to share their favorite Boeing 747 memories on social media between 07:47 and 19:47, using the hashtag #BA747farewell.
For those who are worried about missing out on the action, don’t be. Both BBC News and Sky News will be showing the takeoff live, given the national significance of the occasion. Meanwhile, British Airways will be streaming the event on its social media channels.
Commenting on the farewell, British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said,
“Tomorrow will be a difficult day for everybody at British Airways as the aircraft leaves our home at Heathrow for the very last time. We will pay tribute to them for the incredible part they have played in our 100-year history and to the millions of customers and BA colleagues who have flown on board and taken care of them.”
Will you be watching the two aircraft depart online tomorrow? Feel free to share your favorite Boeing 747 memories in the comments!