British Airways 747-436 G-CIVG, delivered to the airline back in 1995, made a ten minute flight of just 4 miles from BA’s Cardiff maintenance facility where she was prepping for decommissioning, to RAF St Athan just down the road where she will be broken up.
It’s believed to be the shortest point to point flight a 747 has ever made.
British Airways has said it plans on decommissioning all of the remaining 744’s by 2024.
Thirty-two remain in service from the original 54 – it was the worlds largest 744 fleet.
The A350-1000 and 787-10 deliveries will replace 744’s on a one for one basis down to 18 that have been refurbished and will stay until 2023-24. After then the only four engined aircraft in the fleet will be the A380’s.
BA has other pressures on it to dispose of the 744’s. Their Co2 and other pollutants are key to keeping Heathrow inside its environmental impact agreements.
The airline is also penalised for its noise pollution profile – which is largely down to the RB211’s on the 744’s. They’re twice as loud on take off as an A380 and three times that of an A350.