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Retiring British Airways Boeing 747 to be Preserved at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire

Fans of the iconic ‘Queen of the Skies’ will be able to enjoy visiting the aircraft which is painted in British Airways classic Negus livery from the 1970s and 80s. The aircraft was one of four BA 747s painted in heritage livery to mark the carrier’s centenary last year.

British Airways Boeing 747, Registration G-CIVB in Classic Negus Livery - Courtesy British Airways

On Monday (October 27, 2020), British Airways announced that one of their final two retiring Boeing 747s, registration number G-CIVB, will be preserved and placed on permanent display at Cotswold Airport near Kemble in Gloucestershire. The aircraft is adorned in British Airways classic Negus livery which was used by the carrier in the 1970s and 80s. This is great news for UK and global fans of the iconic ‘Queen of the Skies’ who will be able to enjoy visiting the aircraft for generations to come. The aircraft will be maintained by the airport which plans on converting an interior section for use as a unique business, conferencing and event venue, as well as a cinema for locals and an educational facility for school trips. Cotswold Airport plans on opening the aircraft to the public from Spring 2021. In Monday’s announcement, British Airways’ CEO, Sean Doyle, said,

“It was with great sadness that we retired our two final 747s based at Heathrow earlier this month, so we’re glad Cotswold Airport is able to give one of these aircraft a new home and a new lease of life. The 747, and the Negus livery, are iconic in British Airways’ past, and we hope locals and visitors will enjoy seeing this slice of history for years to come.”

Also commenting on the preservation of the Boeing 747, Cotswold Airport’s CEO, Suzannah Harvey, said,

“It is great news for locals and visitors who will be able to see and experience one of the most iconic passenger aircraft of its time. We’re absolutely delighted to make this happen following its final flight from London Heathrow to Cotswold Airport on 8 October.”

British Airways’ Boeing 747 (G-CIVB), entered the carrier’s fleet on February 15, 1994 and has since operated 13,398 flights flying 118,445 hours and nearly 60 million miles. The aircraft’s final passenger revenue flight took place on April 6, 2020 from Miami to London-Heathrow. Cotswold Airport will use a large percentage of revenue from the events on the aircraft to support their scholarship program and charities. The scholarship helps 10 students annually who have an interest in the aviation sector, and many recipients have gone on to careers in the Navy and RAF.

Cotswold Airport was previously known as RAF Kemble and the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic team was based there until 1983. When the U.S. Air Force departed Kemble in 1993, the base faced an uncertain future, but thanks to the March 2001 acquisition of the airfield by Ronan Harvey and a consortium of local businesses from the Ministry of Defence, Cotswold Airport is now home to a thriving general aviation community. The airfield was granted airport status by the UK Secretary of State in 2009 and rebranded Cotswold Airport (Kemble). Over the years, the airport has supported the Air Ambulance, Help for Heroes and the RAF Benevolent Fund. The airport has hosted successful Vintage Fly-in Weekends and the Best of British or Revival Festival events, which have been attended by tens of thousands.

Source: British Airways


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