LONDON – February 18, 2019. The first of a series of British Airways Boeing 747’s with a retro livery landed earlier today at London Heathrow Airport. The British airline is celebrating its unofficial 100th anniversary this year and therefore is providing some aircraft with historic paintings. Also to celebrate that the Boeing 747 has been flying for 50 years this month, British Airways started painting the B747 with registration G-BYGC into a retro BOAC livery a few weeks ago at Dublin Airport.
Although the British airline has only been flying under the current name for 45 years – BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) merged with British European Airways in 1974 to British Airways – BA decided to proclaim 2019 as the anniversary year in honor of the centenary. However, that title may only be used by KLM, which has been operating under the same name since 1919.
A Boeing 747-400 from British Airways now has the BOAC’s livery, which was used between 1964 and 1974. The 20 year old Jumbo Jet was painted in Dublin and returned to Heathrow Airport earlier today. The aircraft will continue to wear this beautiful livery until its retirement in 2023.
The aircraft will depart for New York on Tuesday, which was the first route a Boeing 747 flew in BOAC colours.
Three more British Airways planes will be painted in retro liveries. Details have yet to be disclosed.
The airline’s chief executive Alex Cruz said: “The enormous interest we’ve had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways’ history. “It’s something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it’s a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future. “We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service.”
Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT and T) launched the world’s first daily international scheduled flight between London and Paris in August 1919. British Airways describes the airline as its “forerunner company”. AT and T was incorporated into airlines with various names on multiple occasions – including BOAC – culminating in the creation of British Airways in 1974.
(Header photo: British Airways)
(*Old photo: RingwayEnthusiast [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boeing_747-136_G-AWNC_BOAC_RWY_17.08.70_edited-3.jpg)