After hundreds of thousands of flights British Airways has bid farewell to one of the most iconic aircraft in its fleet – the Boeing 767.
The airline’s final two 767s have been retired to MOD St Athan in Wales after the last commercial flight – Larnaca in Cyprus to Heathrow – took place on Sunday.
The captain of the flight to St Athan, Jonny Lutton, tweeted: ‘Today [Monday] I have the privilege of commanding the last ever @British_Airways #767 flight. @aston_adam and I will deliver #ZHB to St Athan, bringing 28 years of safe and efficient 767 operations to a close. This is the end of an era.’
The plane that operated the last ever commercial 767 flight for BA touches down in Larnaca, Cyprus, before making the end-of-an-era return journey to Heathrow
The crew of the last 767 to fly a commercial service for BA pose by the plane in Cyprus before it returns to Heathrow for the final time
Since British Airways operated its first 767 in February 1990 on a short hop to Paris, the fleet of aircraft has completed over 425,000 commercial flights.
Frankfurt was the route where enthusiasts could spot the 767 most frequently, with the aircraft completing nearly 15,000 flights to and from the airport, but the aircraft has also been used to serve routes from Abu Dhabi, to Calgary and New York.
While it was initially used for long-haul, in recent years it has been reconfigured for use on short-haul, including to Athens and Larnaca as well as on some domestic routes.
The retirement comes as British Airways looks to the future of its fleet.
Just days ago, the airline took delivery of its 30th Boeing 787 Dreamliner – the newest aircraft in its fleet.
Not only is the Dreamliner around 40 per cent quieter than other aircraft it also uses 20 per cent less fuel than similarly sized aircraft.
The flight crew that would be operating the historic final BA 767 journey pose by the aircraft in Cyprus before it heads back to the UK capital
This means a reduction in carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.
But it’s not just the 787 that’s being added to British Airways’ fleet.
Later in the year the airline will take delivery of another pioneering aircraft – its first Airbus A350, part of the airline’s £4.5bn investment for customers over the next five years.
On the 767 retirement, 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.
The first ever BA 767 service from London Heathrow to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris takes off on February 19, 1990
The flight deck of the 767. Frankfurt was the route where enthusiasts could spot the 767 most frequently
‘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.’
The final 767 commercial flight took place on a plane with the registration G-BZHA. One other 767 was retired to St Athan on Monday and will be sold, along with G-BZHA, but not to another airline.
BA said that neither plane will fly again, but didn’t comment on the identity of the buyer (s).
G-BZHA first flew in 1998 and has flown an estimated 23 million miles. It has visited Larnaca 900 times in its life, but its most popular route is actually to Athens, where it’s completed 1,275 round trips.
It is estimated that this aircraft has carried around four million customers across nearly 23,000 flights.