LONDON – British Airways (BA) conducted its last flight with the Boeing 767 on Sunday, November 25, on the London-Heathrow (LHR) to Larnaca route. The relationship between BA and the 767 dates back to 28 years ago, when the carrier took delivery of the first variant of the type.
Today, the 1996-delivered 767, bearing the registration G-BZHA, had the honors of performing the last flight for the British flag carrier.
The plane departed LHR at 12:20 as BA662. After a six-hour turn around in Cyprus, it returned to London at 22:40 as BA663, putting an end to its commercial service.
At the final farewell ceremony of the 767, British Airways Director of Flight Operations, Captain Al Bridger, said, “The 767 has been a brilliant part of our fleet, flying some of our most popular routes and giving customers what was an industry-leading service in its time.”
“It’s fitting that as the final 767 leaves the fleet, we take our 30th delivery of another industry-leading aircraft, the 787, which offers customers an exceptional experience in the skies,” he said.
Many had expected British Airways to retire the 767 a few years earlier when the new Boeing 787 Dreamliners began arriving to its fleet.
Today, the airline has taken the final step to putting an end of a very successful venture a few days after taking delivery of its 30th 787 Dreamliner.
After the last flight concluded and imminent retirement, BA’s fleet will drop to from 14 to 12 years, making it one of the youngest fleets in the world for a legacy carrier with more than 270 planes in its fleet.
Britsh Airways listed the benefits the 767’s replacement with the much-newer 787, stating that not only is the Dreamliner around 40% quieter, but it also uses about 20% less fuel.
The Dreamliner is just one of the two new modern wide-body aircraft British Airways will be using within the next two decades. By 2019, the carrier is expected to take delivery of the first Airbus A350-1000.
British Airways + Boeing 767: Looking Back
The dual-aisle mid-size jet was one of the largest planes in BA’s fleet, joining the ever-growing airline in 1990.
The Boeing 767 became one of the airline’s most versatile and important planes, operating both domestic and European routes as well as occasional international services to North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East.
British Airways had elected to operate the 767 over the Airbus A300-600R, after it had felt that the Boeing airplane had more to offer.
One of the deciding factors British Airways took into consideration at the time of choosing the Boeing airplane was that it shared similar type ratings with its smaller sibling, the 757, allowing the airline to save in pilot training and type commonality.
Unique Engine Setting
After selecting the Boeing 767, BA made a choice that many airlines had not: opting for the Rolls-Royce RB211 engines.
British Airways became the launch customer of this engine type over the favored Prat and Whitney PW4000s, which is the most popular engine in the world, today.
The RR RB211 power plants were used on only 31 Boeing 767s around the globe after proving to be a very unpopular option with many airlines.
The last two British Airways Boeing 767s (G-BZHA and G-BZHB) departed from London-Heathrow to St. Athan in South Wales today.
G-BZHB was commanded by Captain Jonny Lutton and First Officer Adam Aston, who excitingly kept the world informed of the historic moment via their Twitter feeds.
Once the two planes landed in St. Athan, the Boeing 757 and 767 history with British Airways came to an end.
As of today, British Airways operated 86 Boeing 757/767s on well over 1 million sectors, spanning 35 years of constant service.
Captain Lutto admitted that the Boeing 767 “will be missed by a lot of dedicated people who worked with it most of their career. It’s been a privilege to fly on it.”
The 767 which has been an iconic aircraft around the world for a long time is still operated by legacy carriers such as United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
However, as these plane continue to age and with newer variants coming in for airlines such as the 787 Dreamliner and the A350XWB, the 767’s time seems to be coming to a close.