LONDON – British Airways (BA) today said farewell to the latest Boeing 747-400 airframe to be sent to Castellon (CDT) for retirement. Victor Hotel, known as G-CIVH (LN. 1078) is the third of 31 units that have been retired due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The first aircraft to go was G-CIVD (LN. 1048) on August 18, followed by G-BYGF (LN. 1200) on August 26.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

‘Victor Hotel’ Itself

‘Victor Hotel’ departed from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) today as BA9170 for its retirement flight to CDT. The last commercial flight of the frame was on March 18 from Dallas as BA192.

The seating configuration for the aircraft was 275 seats in a four-class configuration. 145 seats were on offer in World Traveller, with 30 in World Traveller Plus. Thereafter, 86 seats were offered in Club and 14 seats in First Class respectively.

The aircraft was delivered to BA on April 23, 1996, living a respectable 24 years in the skies.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Globetrotter

G-CIVH definitely flew like a globetrotter. Information from BA states that the aircraft flew a total of 101,976 hours across 13,884 flights, traveling 50 million miles total.

It had worn the Landor livery when it was delivered in the ‘City of Hereford’ titles. On its retirement flight, it had housed the Union Flag/Chatham Dockyard colors, which is what we see today from the airline.

For ‘Victor Hotel’, its most popular routes was Chicago, New York and Washington, predominantly on the Transatlantic circuit.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Out With the Old, In With the New

British Airways had previously announced in July its intentions to phase out its Boeing 747-400 aircraft. All 31 units will be phased out over the next few months.

This has also been the same as the Airbus A318, which was taken out of service at the end of July. Since the lockdown, the airline has been significantly busy receiving around eight brand new aircraft.

This consists of two Airbus A350-1000, two Airbus A320neo, two Airbus A321neo, and two Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners. BA is also set to receive four more Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from Novus Aviation Capital, with the order being placed at the Farnborough Air Show in 2018.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking Ahead

As we continue to go forward with the 747 retirements, it remains clear that BA is most definitely planning for the new. The latest aircraft nowadays are helping to preserve cash flow through better efficiencies and more.

Like the family at Airways has said previously, it is still definitely still sad to see these retirements to take place.

Featured Image: G-CIVH seen at London Heathrow. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons