One of the last British Airways jumbo jets to fly out of Heathrow is to get a new lease of life as a cinema and conference centre.
The Boeing 747 will be repurposed for public use at its new home in Cotswold airport, Gloucestershire, after leaving London for the last time on October 8 as huge crowds bade it farewell.
Although grounded, the giant jet will be maintained, with part of it converted into a cinema and space which can be hired for events such as conferences.
Clad in one of BA's historic liveries with the registration G-CIVB, a 25-year-old aircraft having been delivered in February 1994, will be opened to the public early next year and will also be used as an education centre for school trips as part of a deal with airport operator Kemble Air Services.
Suzannah Harvey, chief executive Cotswold airport, said: “It is great news for locals and visitors who will be able to see and experience one of the most iconic passenger aircrafts of its time.”
Sean Doyle, the recently appointed boss of British Airways, said that the airline had retired its 747s with great sadness following decades of service, adding the deal means visitors can see a slice of aviation history for years to come.
G-CIVB entered service with British Airways in February 1994 and completed 13,398 flights, amounting to over 118,445 hours in the air and covering nearly 60 million miles. Its last passenger flight was from Miami to Heathrow in April 2020.
Although Kemble gave no details of the value of the transaction, Boeing's list price for the latest version of a 747 airliner was $420m (£322m) before the company announced it would stop building them earlier this year.
However, G-CIVB would be worth just a tiny fraction of that amount.
Rob Morris, head of consultancy at aviation analyst Cirium, said the former British Airways jet could be worth about $4.6m.
Most of this value would come from components such as engines and the landing gear being stripped out and used on other aircraft, though with 747s being retired around the world there is likely to be little demand.
Mr Morris added: “That figure assumes those components are only halfway through their usable lives. However, for the same aircraft with all those components fully run-out, our value estimate declines fundamentally to $280,000.”
He added the engines could even be removed and sold as they are not be needed now that G-CIVB is parked, with concrete blocks hung from the wings in their place to keep the aircraft balanced.
Eddy Pieniazek, head of advisory at aerospace analysts Ishka, added: “The airframe is not worth much, it's basically a convenient way of transporting four engines around, but after 26 years, G-CIVB should have already handsomely paid for itself.”