Virgin Atlantic became one of many airlines to abandon the Boeing 747 last year, spurred on by the Covid-19 pandemic which seemed to advance the end of this famous and graceful airliner.
While a few airlines still fly the type, there are now no airlines in the UK flying passenger 747s, with both British Airways and Virgin retiring the type in 2020.
What Happened to Virgin Atlantic’s 747s?
The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 fleet consisted of -400 models prior to its retirement. They were all parked up soon after the pandemic hit in early 2020, being stored at airports like Manchester, before being disposed of gradually over the remainder of the year.
Some -400s had already been disposed of prior to that, and let’s not forget that Virgin Atlantic used to fly classic 747-100s and -200s earlier in its career. The last of these left the fleet in 2005.
Boeing 747 Classics
G-VMIA, 747-123. Scrapped 2000
G-TKYO, 747-212B. Now Kalitta Air, stored at Oscoda Wurtsmith AFB, MI
G-VBEE, 747-219B. Scrapped 2012
G-VCAT, 747-267B. Scrapped 2015
G-VGIN, 747-243B. Scrapped 2008
G-VIBE, 747-219B. Scrapped 2015
G-VIRG, 747-287B. Scrapped 2011
G-VJFK, 747-238B. Scrapped 2012. Parts of cockpit preserved at South Wales Aviation Museum, St Athan.
G-VLAX, 747-238B. Scrapped 2004
G-VOYG, 747-283B. Scrapped 1998. [History of this Aircraft]
G-VPUF, 747-219B. Scrapped 2015
G-VRGN, 747-212B. Scrapped 2014
G-VRUM, 747-267B. Scrapped 2015
G-VSSS, 747-219B. Scrapped 2015
G-VZZZ, 747-219B. Scrapped 2013
TF-ABA, 747-267B (leased from Air Atlanta Icelandic in 2001). Scrapped 2007
G-VAST, 747-41R. Being scrapped at St Athan
G-VBIG, 747-4Q8. Scrapped 2020
G-VFAB, 747-4Q8. Scrapped 2015
G-VGAL, 747-443. Stored at Marana Pinal Airpark, AZ. For Atlas Air.
G-VHOT, 747-4Q8. Scrapped 2016
G-VLIP, 747-443. WFU and stored at Marana Pinal Airpark, AZ
G-VROC, 747-41R. Now ER-BAE with Terra Avia. Stored at Jakarta, Indonesia.
G-VROM, 747-443. Now N481MC with Atlas Air
G-VROS, 747-443. Stored at Marana Pinal Airpark, AZ. For Atlas Air.
G-VROY, 747-443. Now N482MC with Atlas Air
G-VTOP, 747-4Q8. Stored at Xiamen International, China, as HS-STI.
G-VWOW, 747-41R. Now N744VG with Virgin Galactic.
G-VXLG, 747-41R. Stored at Tel Aviv, Israel. Being converted to freighter.
What aircraft does Virgin Atlantic fly today?
With the loss of the Boeing 747 fleet, as well as the recent retirement of its final Airbus A340s, Virgin Atlantic today has a fleet of Airbus A330-200, A330-300, A350-1000 and Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
Some of the fleet is currently parked awaiting a return to full flying schedules when the aviation industry recovers.