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Final two British Airways 747s find new permanent homes

written by Hannah Dowling | December 2, 2020

British Airways has painted one of its Boeing 747-400s in a BOAC livery to celebrate its centenary. (British Airways/Stuart Bailey)
British Airways painted one of its Boeing 747-400s in a BOAC livery to celebrate its centenary. (British Airways/Stuart Bailey)

Two more iconic British Airways Boeing 747s are set to be preserved for tourists and enthusiasts alike to continue to marvel at the Queen of the Skies.

British Airways has confirmed that its final two Boeing 747s – both sporting eye-catching retro liveries – have now found permanent new homes, and will shortly depart from the airline’s engineering base in Cardiff for the final time.

The two aircraft, registrations G-BNLY and G-BYGC, were among several aircraft painted in heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary last year.

Adorned in the iconic Landor livery, used between 1984 and 1997, G-BNLY is set to see a new lease of life as a permanent exhibit at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey. 

The aircraft will join its sister 747, G-CIVW, which was retired in late October and features the current Chatham Dockyard livery.

Meanwhile, G-BYGC, painted in the BOAC ‘Gold Speedbird’ livery used between 1963 and 1974, will make the short journey from Cardiff Airport to the Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

Here, she will be maintained as a heritage piece by aviation specialists eCube Solutions to showcase the pre-eminent contribution British Airways’ 747 fleet made to UK aviation, according to British Airways.


Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, said, “While we will miss seeing them grace our skies, we are delighted to have found permanent homes for our remaining centenary 747 aircraft.

“We think they have great historical importance, not only to British Airways but to the entire aviation industry, and we are pleased they will be preserved for future generations in locations in the UK.

“As the final 747s to leave our fleet, their departure will be an emotional moment for former and current British Airways staff, including our engineering team in Cardiff who have lovingly looked after our jumbo jets for decades.”

G-BNLY and G-BYGC are the last two British Airways 747s to be retired, with G-BYGC being the final 747 to leave the British Airways fleet. 

The Negus-liveried 747, registration G-CIVB, was one of the last two 747s to depart Heathrow Airport in October and has also been found a permanent home at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire.

British Airways was forced to accelerate the retirement of its Boeing 747s in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent near total shutdown of international travel demand.

The airline announced in July that it would be immediately retiring all of its 31 remaining jumbo jets.

The accelerated retirement has meant that unfortunately no formal retirement celebrations could be organised to mark this end of an era, and properly farewell the Queen of the Skies.


  • Wow, that is so good to hear, the new BA CEO needs a big thank you for that generous donation.
    Best news Ive heard today ! Look forward to seeing them next time we are in the UK….whenever that will be !!!

  • Charles


    Finally, some fantastic news! Could not have wished for a better outcome for these aircraft given the circumstances! Wonderful job and should inspire for years to come, long live the queen!

  • John Coucher


    What a shame that Qantas didn’t have the vision to save one of its last few 747s. HARS and QFM have done a fantastic job with their aircraft but I still think another 747 in an accessible location would be a viable attraction or iconic landmark given the significance of the aircraft to Australian history.

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