Update 22 September 2020: It appears that seven of British Airways Boeing 747s have not in fact been sold to Rossiya Airlines in Russia, as previously reported.
The seven aircraft listed below briefly changed registration from British Airways to Rossiya Airlines on Monday, according to PlaneSpotters.net, which sparked reports that the planes had been sold to the Russian airline.
However, it appears these registration changes were made in error, and all registrations have now been changed back.
A British Airways spokesperson has confirmed that there is no truth to the reports that any 747s were sold to another airline.
The spokesperson said all 31 of the British flag carrier’s last Boeing 747s will be sent off for scrapping, and have not been sold to Rossiya.
While the Queen of the Skies will not be heading from Britain to Russia, the Russian airline still maintains nine Boeing 747-400s in its fleet.
Original report 21 September 2020:
Seven of British Airway’s recently retired Boeing 747s have reportedly been purchased by Russia’s Rossiya Airlines, with the Russian carrier due to take delivery of the aircraft within the next two months.
British Airways announced the premature and immediate retirement of all of its 31 remaining 747s in July, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the airline to accelerate its retirement plans for the mighty queen of the skies.
Luckily, seven of these aircraft will be gifted a new lease of life, after being purchased by Russian carrier Rossiya Airlines.
Registration information from PlaneSpotters.net suggests that Rossiya Airlines is set to take delivery of G-BYGA, G-BYGB, G-BYGC, G-BYGD, G-BYGE, G-BYGF & G-BYGG (which currently sports the retro BOAC livery from British Airways’ centenary celebrations) throughout October and November.
After taking delivery of these seven aircraft, Rossiya will then have a total of 16 747-400s in its fleet, after having previously purchased nine 747-400s from Transaero Airlines.
The Russian carrier often uses its iconic Boeing 747s to fly domestic routes throughout Russia, as well as on flights to Turkey, however reportedly has intentions to utilise the aircraft on flights between Russia and Thailand in the future.
British Airways was forced to retire its remaining 747 fleet four years ahead of schedule, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and unprecedented drop in global travel demand.
The airline now expects to formally retire its final jumbo jet by January 2021.