Virgin Atlantic’s final Boeing 747 has now left the airline’s fleet after more than 19 years in service with the carrier.
The jumbo jet, registration G-VROY, was named Pretty Woman, and took off from London Heathrow earlier this week
G-VROY, which has been flying in Virgin’s fleet since 18 June 2001, is headed to Las Vegas where it will be used by its new owners Atlas Air for, amongst other things, troop transport for the US military.
The flight took off from London Heathrow Airport at 10:15 local time, and landed at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport at 13:21.
Fans of the aircraft were able to witness the historic milestone online via Big Jet TV, and get a first-hand look at the pilots’ preparations and route-plotting, the final checks over the aircraft, and of course, the moment of take-off.
Today, Pretty Woman makes her last flight with us from @HeathrowAirport and is the last @Boeing 747 to leave our fleet. Follow her final departure virtually on @BigJetTVLIVE from 11am: https://t.co/4NkmmOeue5 ✈️ pic.twitter.com/cuamVnvLJN
— virginatlantic (@VirginAtlantic) December 21, 2020
Virgin Atlantic had previously announced its intentions to retire all seven of its remaining 747-400 aircraft, but initially planned on completing this process in 2021.
However, the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis forced the airline into moving this schedule forward, and effectively retired all of its jumbo jets with immediate effect earlier this year.
British Airways, which was the world’s largest operator of Boeing 747 aircraft, made a similar move earlier this year when it announced it would retire all 31 of its 747s from its fleet with immediate effect, four years ahead of schedule.
The planes were initially planned to be retired by the carrier in 2024, however this date has been brought forward in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent global aviation downturn.
Good luck today @VirginAtlantic as you say goodbye to your Pretty Woman, who looks as lovely as can be. A fond farewell from all of us at British Airways.. we will miss seeing jumbo jets at Heathrow ✈️❤️
— British Airways (@British_Airways) December 21, 2020