British Airways To Save Its Negus Boeing 747 Retro Jet

British Airways has confirmed that one of its former Boeing 747 aircraft, G-CIVB, will be saved from the scrap heap. There had been speculation that the aircraft would be kept earlier in October.

Boeing 747, Active, Passenger
British Airways has saved its Negus retro-jet from the scrap heap. Photo: Getty Images

The British Airways Boeing 747 is just one of many casualties of the current aviation downturn. The situation has seen many passengers either put off traveling or being unable to do so due to government restrictions. As such, airlines around the world have had to ground their fleets or face operating empty flights. Some airlines have been retiring aircraft in light of predictions that demand will not return to 2019 levels for some years.

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Negus will be saved

British Airways today revealed that suspicions were correct regarding the fate of G-CIVB. The aircraft is sporting the airline’s Negus retro livery that was applied last year to celebrate its 100th birthday. The aircraft is currently at Cotswold Airport, having undertaken its final flight earlier this month.

This aircraft will now be maintained at Kemble where members of the public will be able to visit it. Last week we reported that one of the airline’s aircraft was being turned into a film set in Surrey. There are now plans to turn G-CIVB into a cinema for locals. Perhaps a film shot on one Boeing 747 will be shown in another. The aircraft will also be available for private hire events and school trips from spring 2021.

British Airways, Boeing 747, Negus
The airline repainted G-CIVB to celebrate its 100th birthday last year. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Commenting, British Airways’ new CEO Sean Doyle said,

“It was with great sadness that we retired our two final 747s based at Heathrow earlier this month, so we’re glad Cotswold Airport is able to give one of these aircraft a new home and a new lease of life.”

One of the airline’s final Heathrow 747s

G-CIVB will always have a special place in the history of British Airways. Not only was it repainted as a retro jet last year, but the aircraft is also one of the final two to depart from the airline’s London Heathrow home.

The aircraft departed alongside G-CIVY on October 8th, closing a 50-year era. British Airways had planned to send the aircraft off with a rare double departure on Heathrow’s parallel runways. However, the weather ultimately meant that this would not be possible due to the low visibility. Despite this, while G-CIVB jetted off to Kemble, G-CIVY came back for one last low pass goodbye before heading to St Athan, where it will be disassembled.

British Airways, IAG Cargo, Boeing 787-10
Many of BA’s Boeing 747-400s are heading to the scrap heap. Photo: Getty Images

Two retro jets, G-BNLY in Landor and G-BYCG in BOAC, remain in Cardiff. No plans to save these aircraft have yet been revealed, although many live hoping that they will get a similar future to Negus rather than joining so many of their siblings as scrap.

Are you pleased to see G-CIVB being saved from scrap? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!