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Update 2/17/2019: British Airways extended its schedule for the BOAC retrojet, including additional flights to the US. Here’s the full schedule that’s been released so far:

  • Feb. 18 2019: BA 100 — Dublin (DUB) 8:30am Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 9:55am Arrival
  • Feb. 19 2019: BA 117 — London Heathrow (LHR) 8:35am Departure ⇒ New York Kennedy (JFK) 11:30am Arrival
  • Feb. 19 2019: BA 172 — New York Kennedy (JFK) 8:55pm Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 8:45am Arrival +1 day
  • Feb. 20 2019: BA 295 — London Heathrow (LHR) 12:10pm Departure ⇒ Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 3:05pm Arrival
  • Feb. 20 2019: BA 294 — Chicago O’Hare (ORD) 5:10pm Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 6:50am Arrival +1 day

And the good news is that there’s (still) award availability on these flights. As of 9:45am Sunday morning, here’s what award availability looks like:

  • BA 117 LHR-JFK: 4 economy, 7 premium economy, no business class, no first class
  • BA 172 JFK-LHR: 8+ economy, 8+ premium economy, no business class, no first class
  • BA 295 LHR-ORD: 6 economy, no premium economy, no business class, no first class
  • BA 294 ORD-LHR: 8+ economy, 8+ premium economy, no business class, no first class

Also on Sunday morning, British Airways shared the first official look at the newly-repainted plane:


A few weeks ago, British Airways made an announcement that made AvGeeks worldwide swoon. As part of its celebration of 100 years of flying, the airline shared that it would paint one of its 747s in the livery of predecessor airline British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

Image courtesy of British Airways.
Image courtesy of British Airways.

The aircraft that’s undergoing the repainting has been revealed to be G-BYGC, a 20-year-old Boeing 747-400 aircraft that was ferried to Dublin, Ireland (DUB), for work on February 5. From photos that leaked online this week, it looks like the transformation is nearing completion:

Sure enough, on Saturday, British Airways revealed the first scheduled flights of the new “retrojet”:

  • Feb. 18 2019: BA 100: Dublin (DUB) 8:30am Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 9:55am Arrival
  • Feb. 19 2019: BA 117: London Heathrow (LHR) 8:35am Departure ⇒ New York Kennedy (JFK) 11:30am Arrival
  • Feb. 19 2019: BA 172 — New York Kennedy (JFK) 8:55pm Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 8:45am Arrival +1 day

That’s right, New York-based AvGeeks: the BOAC retrojet is flying to New York’s JFK on its first revenue flight. It’s scheduled to arrive at the gate at 11:30am on Tuesday, February 19. But you’ll want to make sure to get to your viewing spot well before then if you want to catch it landing.

Can’t watch the landing? The good news is that the special BOAC 747 will stick around JFK all day before finally departing at 8:55pm. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a challenge to get photos of this newly-painted Queen of the Skies lifting off from NYC for the first time, as this will be well after the 5:35pm sunset.

The first flight of the aircraft is going to be a special repositioning flight from Dublin to London Heathrow. The specially-designated flight 100 isn’t being sold to the public and is likely going to be restricted to media.

For those who want to be on the first two flights across the pond, the last-minute fares are quite pricey:

The great news for points and miles collectors is that these flights are available on miles. British Airways flight 117 from London Heathrow (LHR) to New York Kennedy (JFK) has economy and premium economy award availability. Unfortunately, there’s neither business class nor first class award availability on the flight.

For the return flight from New York Kennedy (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR), there are at least eight award seats available in both economy and premium economy. But again, there’s no business class or first class award availability.

Using British Airways Avios to fly one-way from JFK to Heathrow is going to cost you:

If you don’t have any British Airways Avios, you can transfer both Chase Ultimate Rewards points (1:1, instant transfer) and American Express Membership Rewards points (1:1, instant transfer) to British Airways. If you need help, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to transfer points and book flights with British Airways Avios.

This post was originally published at 9:30am on Saturday, Feb. 16 and updated on Sunday, Feb. 17 with additional route information.

Featured image by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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