Four former British Airways Boeing 747s are expected to be re-registered on the Bermudian aircraft registry. The aircraft have all been in storage in Teruel, Spain, since they were ferried out on April 3rd, 2020.
The global Boeing 747 fleet has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many carriers from Qantas to China Airlines and KLM to Corsair took the aircraft type out of their fleets earlier than planned. British Airways was among these airlines, having begun to send parts of its fleet to storage in late March last year, before announcing the type’s retirement in mid-July.
Four Boeing 747s re-registered
Most assumed that we wouldn’t see any of British Airways’ Boeing 747s fly again. While four aircraft (each in a different livery) have been preserved for generations to come, the others have all ended up at facilities capable of dismantling the Queen of the Skies.
However, it seems as though four may have found a second owner. According to registration data from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, four of the five BA 747s being stored in Teruel are expected to be transferred to the Bermudian aircraft registry.
The reason given for removal from the UK aircraft registry is “Transferred to another country or authority”. As other aircraft that have been scrapped in Spain have had their status changed to “Permanently withdrawn from use”, it suggests that there are plans for these 747s. After all, why go to the effort of registering something set to be scrapped?
According to data from the CAA, the four aircraft reregistered are,
While some have been preserved, and these four may live on, those scrapped haven’t necessarily gone to waste. Around 94% of an aircraft can be recycled when retired. Some spare parts may be removed for use on other aircraft, while there is a growing demand to collect former aircraft pieces from avid avgeeks.
Where will the planes go?
It’s not entirely clear where these four aircraft that have been re-registered in Bermuda will end up. When contacted by Simple Flying, a British Airways spokesperson declined to comment. Simple Flying has contacted Tarmac Aerosave, owners of Teruel, for comment.
Back in September, there were rumors that several of the aircraft stored in Teruel would be taken by the Russian carrier Rossiya. At the time, British Airways confirmed to Simple Flying that there was no truth in these rumors. However, it’s not unusual for Russian planes to be placed on the Bermuda aircraft registry.
While Rossiya’s existing fleet of nine Boeing 747s is on the Irish aircraft registry, its Airbus aircraft and Boeing 737s are all registered in Bermuda. If the aircraft are not heading for Rossiya, the Bermudian connection makes Russia seems a reasonable assumption.
Where do you think these Boeing 747s will end up? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!