MIAMI – Today, British Airways (BA) bids farewell to its ‘Golf Bravo’ airframe. The Boeing 747 registered as G-BYGB becomes the fourth retirement of the airline in the wake of COVID-19.

For its last flight, G-BYGB took off from Cardiff (CWL), where it was stored, to land in Kemble (GBA).

In July, BA announced that it would retire all 31 of its remaining 747s. This following the International Airlines Group (IAG) plan for definitely grounding some aircraft. So far, the carrier has withdrawn the G-CIVD, G-BYGF, and G-CIVH airframe.

British_Airways G-BYGB. Photo: Anna Zvereva.

‘Golf Bravo’ Performance


The Boeing 747-436 aircraft entered in service with BA on January 9, 1999 being its last commercial flight on March 21, 2020. This was from New York (JFK) to London (LHR).

During its 21 years of operations, the registered G-BYGB performed a top speed of 565mph and a take-off speed of 180mph. For its livery, the ‘Golf Bravo’ first wore a ‘Colum’ World Images, which was renewed for the current Chatham Dockyard Union Flag.

With four Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines, the retired Boeing 747 flew about 90,821 hours and 50 million miles until last March. Part of its completed 11,425 flights includes popular US routes like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

British Airways G-BYGB. Photo: Mark Harkin.

G-BYGB Seating Configuration


Offering an enhanced passenger experience, the aircraft allowed a seating configuration of 14 seats in first class. For the premium Club accommodation, it had 86 seats.

The main seating configuration remained for World Traveller or economy class with 145. However, BA also offered the World Traveller Plus service with certain improvements for passengers, with fewer rows, a quieter, more spacious cabin, and more exclusive than World Traveller. For the Plus service, the retired Boeing 747 featured 30 seats.


British Airways ‘Golf Bravo’ B747-436 G-BYGB. Photo: Andy Mitchell.