British Airways 747 Aircraft Finds a New Role

Airlines in UK

A British Airways jumbo jet will be used as a film set. It was saved from the scrapheap where dozens of the airline’s other retired 747s have ended up.

However, the aircraft, registration G-CIVW, will depart from Cardiff Airport at 1.30 pm today flight number BA1978E. And land at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey at 2.15 pm.

When the aircraft lands it will be handed over to the Aerodrome. Where they will preserve the aircraft for use as a commercial film set and a training facility.

However, the plane, which will keep its Chatham Dockyard livery, will be stored in public view on the airfield.

Exhibition of the Aircraft

Meanwhile, it will be open for exhibitions for visitors. That can see the aircraft and experience the size and the scale of the aircraft, known as the ‘Queen of the Skies’, up close.

However, BA says that the aircraft, like many other 747s, has ties to the world of film. As it flew many actors across its cabins and often visiting film set hotspots such as Los Angeles and New York.

Moreover, the airline adds a new role to the aircraft, it will feature more prominently in front of the camera. And they will be using it to mock-up interior and exterior shots for TV and film.

Operations of the Jumbo Jet

G-CIVW entered the British Airways fleet on May 15, 1998. It operated 11,424 flights and flew for 90,617 hours over 45million miles.

However, its last passenger flight was from Boston to London Heathrow on March 28, 2020.

After its final commercial flight, the aircraft was at Bournemouth Airport. Before taking it for storage at Cardiff Airport in June.

Jim McAllister, chief executive of Dunsfold Aerodrome, said, “The 747 is a unique and important piece of aviation history. And we are excited to be taking delivery of this retired aircraft at Dunsfold Aerodrome.”

Moreover, he said, “Whilst G-CIVW will no longer fly, the aircraft will be preserved and given a new lease of life in the world of TV and film, training, and special events.”

British Airways said, “With an aviation heritage that includes the development of military aircraft. Such as the Harrier, Hawk, and Hunter, Dunsfold Aerodrome is the perfect fit for the generation-defining 747.”

In addition, he said, “Just 13 miles west of London Gatwick, the Aerodrome provides a convenient location for a variety of aircraft operations. Including flight testing, maintenance, repair, storage, hangarage, and apron parking.”

Early Retirement

However, the airline took the decision, and in July that it will be scrapping its entire fleet of jumbo jets with immediate effect.

The nation’s flag carrier was the world’s last major operator of the iconic 747 aircraft. As it was in service with the airline since 1971.

However, the airline had 31 jumbo jets in use before the coronavirus crisis. Because of the pandemic bosses had to park the entire fleet at airports across the country.

BA had originally planned to retire them by 2024 and gradually replace them with newer, more fuel-efficient jets such as the 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350. But a major decline in passenger numbers forced the airline to bring forward its plans and the last 747 took off from Heathrow earlier this month. 

However, the pandemic has brought financial ruin to the travel industry. As a result, BA’s owner IAG reported a £1.2billion loss earlier on Thursday and warned on future demand.

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