Virgin Atlantic’s final Boeing 747 departure left Heathrow at lunchtime on Monday 21 December.
The jumbo jet headed to Las Vegas before departing again to a desert airfield near Phoenix. The aircraft, G-VROY, is known as Pretty Woman.
Like British Airways, Virgin is replacing its 747s with more fuel-efficient twin jets and has retired all its 747s early due to the pandemic.
It is not the end for G-VROY, as it has been purchased by US charter carrier Atlas Air.
Corneel Koster, the airline’s chief customer and operating officer, said: “The much-loved Boeing 747 has played an important role in Virgin Atlantic’s story.
“It carried our first passengers to New York 36 years ago on our inaugural flight and over the years has transported countless millions of holidaymakers and business travellers safely around the world.
“Whilst we’re sad to close this chapter, we are delighted to continue our transformation towards a cleaner, greener fleet.”