Pilots of Virgin Atlantic 747 perform 'wing wave' farewell for aircraft's last flight

Crew onboard a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 performed a special 'wing-wave' as they took off from a UK airport on Wednesday to mark what was almost certainly the aircraft's last flight.

The aircraft was one of the first 747s to enter Sir Richard Branson's Virgin fleet in 2001 and as is the billionaire's style has a feminine name - this one 'Pretty Woman'.

On Wednesday (local time), a crowd gathered at Manchester Airport to say goodbye as Pretty Woman made its final take-off. Destination: retirement.

Online aviation channel BigJetTV also broadcast the farewell to thousands of paid subscribers around the world.

Virgin Atlantic announced last month the immediate retirement of its entire Boeing 747 fleet.

It had planned to phase the aircraft out in 2021, but this was brought forward due to the passenger shortage created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pretty Woman joined its sisters Jersey Girl and Star Wars-themed The Falcon in a storage facility at Ciudad Real Central Airport in Spain.

Sir Richard and his Virgin brand played a big part in building up the public's love affair with the Boeing 747, often referred to as the 'Queen of the Skies'.

He took delivery of his first ever jumbo jet named 'Maiden Voyager' back in 1984 and his airline has flown variations of the 747 for the following 36 years.