LONDON – British Airways (BA) continues with the early retirement of its aging Boeing 747 fleet. The ninth 747-436 to be retired was registered as G-BYGE (MSN 28858· LN 1198).

GE’s final flight was from Cardiff (CWL) to Kemble (GBA) as BA9177. The aircraft departed from Cardiff at 12:49 BST in the airline’s Union Flag/Chatham Dockyard Livery. This 23-min flight marked the end of a 21-year career as the backbone of British Airways’ long haul operation.

Wikimedia Commons – Photo by Adrian Pingstone

G-BYGE Statistics


G-BYGE was delivered to BA on February 5, 1999. The aircraft wore the airline’s controversial ‘Rendezvous’ World Image livery. It was then painted in the airline’s current Union Flag/Chatham Dockyard livery in which it spent the rest of its career. G-BYGE operated on popular routes for the airline between London (LHR) and New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), and Philadelphia (PHL).

The aircraft operated its last commercial service on March 23, 2020, between Boston (BOS) and London Heathrow (LHR). At the end of service, BYGE had flown 86,611 hrs, 10,845 flights, and around 40 million miles according to the airline.

Like the other BA 747-400, G-BYGE was fitted with four Rolls-Royce RB211-524 engines. This allowed for G-BYGE to reach a top speed of 565mph with a takeoff speed of 180mph. The aircraft weighed 184 tonnes and was capable of a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) for 378 tonnes.

G-BYGE After Arrival into Kemble – Photo Courtesy of Magsmeister (Twitter – @Magsmeister23)

G-BYGE Cabin Configuration


G-BYGE was one of the airline’s high-density business configured airframes with 86 of the airline’s Club World seats. This configuration was intended for routes with a large demand for business travel (such as LHR-JFK).

As well as the 86 Club World seats, G-BYGE had 14 First seats, 30 World Traveller Plus seats, and 145 World Traveller seats. Today, we bid farewell to this tenth Boeing 747 from BA.

G-BYGE’s flight deck during Cardiff-Kemble – Photo Courtesy of Magsmeister (Twitter – @Magsmeister23)

Featured Image: Wiki Commons – Photo By Anthony92931

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