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British Airways 747 to become museum and cinema

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image captionThe 747 at Kemble entered the British Airways fleet on 15 February, 1994 and its last passenger flight was from Miami to Heathrow on 6 April, 2020

A British Airways' 747 passenger plane is being turned into an educational facility and cinema in Gloucestershire.

The aircraft made its final flight from Heathrow Airport on 8 October as more than 18,000 people watched a live stream of the event on Facebook.

It landed at Cotswold Airport in Kemble where it will be used for a range of events beginning next spring.

BA brought forward the retirement of its fleet of 747-400 aircraft due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aircraft type was known as the Queen of the Skies, and the one in Kemble is painted in Negus livery which adorned the airline's planes in the 1970s and 1980s.

image captionThe 747 was painted in a heritage Negus livery last year as part of BA's centenary

It will be converted for use as a museum, cinema and for school visits, as well as a business, conferencing and private hire venue.

A portion of the money raised from events will be used to support Cotswold Airport's scholarship programme and charities.

"There is such a huge amount of interest in her as British Airways' last commercially operated 747 and with the historic livery in which she is painted as well," said Suzannah Harvey, chief executive of Cotswold Airport.

"We've got a very good support network building already which will help to maintain and preserve her for the future."

image captionChief executive of Cotswold Airport Suzannah Harvey said the arrival of the plane was "great news"

Boeing announced it would stop making the 747 planes in July, as airlines opt for newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft.

BA planned to retire the planes in 2024 but the date was brought forward due to the downturn in the travel industry caused by Covid-19.

The first Boeing 747 flight took off in February 1969 and it was the first aeroplane dubbed a jumbo jet.

Sean Doyle, chief executive of British Airways, said: "It was with great sadness that we retired our two final 747s based at Heathrow, so we're glad Cotswold Airport is able to give one of these aircraft a new home and a new lease of life."

image captionSchools will be invited to visit the plane and it will also be used as a cinema

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