British Airways paint jobs

24 Jul 2016 by Tom Otley
The British Airways Dove livery which was created for the London 2102 Olympics - in flight

The Dove

The golden Dove design was painted onto nine British Airways A319 aircraft as part of the carrier’s London 2012 celebrations. Designer Pascal Anson, who was commissioned to create the livery as a result of BA’s Great Britons scheme (with mentoring by Tracey Emin), was inspired “by the idea that an aircraft can often look like a bird when in flight”.

“The dove signifies a positive message wherever you go in the world,” said Anson. “I also hope it makes people stop, think and look twice too. It will be very special to see these aircrafts in flight, and I hope that passengers, athletes and VIP’s flying in to the London 2012 Games will be very excited to be on this celebratory aircraft.”

A special shade of gold paint was used on the aircraft, with a team of 24 people taking eight days to spray paint the dove.

For more images see The Big Picture: BA unveils dove livery

The British Airways Firefly aircraft - an A319 painted in this livery for the London 2012 Olympics because it was used to carry the Olympic flame


Also linked with the Olympics, this design was much shorter-lived. Created for London 2012 it was on a single aircraft – an A319 which carried the Olympic flame from Athens to Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall . Unfortunately since it included the 2012 logo it was then painted over.

The special livery used yellow, orange and gold as part of its celebratory design. The name was chosen by schoolchildren in the London 2012 Get Set network.


British Airway’s Firefly to fly low over The Mall for Olympics Parade

The big picture: British Airways ‘Firefly’

The British AIrways panda plane was created for the airlines route to Chengdu in China

Panda Plane

Created for the inaugural Chengdu back in 2013, the B777-200 (registration MMH) was specially painted to look like a smiling Giant Panda to mark the start of a new service to Chengdu, the fourth British Airways route to China and the first new destination for the airline to the country, since flights were launched to Shanghai in 2005 (see below).

The British AIrways aircraft painted to celebrate the GREAT festival in Shanghai, 2015


To celebrate the “Great Festival of Creativity” BA unveiled a B777 aircraft with a livery design specially-created by Chinese fashion designer Masha Ma. The design depicted a bamboo and a rose in an east-meets-west fusion of symbols and artistic styles.

British Airways’ engineering team used specialist techniques to paint the aircraft with Ma’s design which combines a western impressionistic style with Chinese ink-and-wash painting methods. The design took over 2,472 man-hours and 186 individual stencils to apply. Although the festival ran for only three days from March 2 to 4, 2015, the aircraft continues to fly around the world on British Airways’ network.

“Bamboo and roses have significant cultural connotations in China and Britain respectively, and are each cherished symbols. In Chinese culture, bamboo represents modesty, integrity and vitality. For Britain, the rose symbolises love, nobility and dignity,” said Ma, who studied at the world-renowned Central Saint Martins art college in London.

“As Sino-British ties continue to bloom and flourish, I felt that the meeting of bamboo with a rose would be the perfect way to celebrate the growing friendship and collaboration between the two countries,” added Ma in explaining her design concept.

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