British Airways to paint B747 with retro BOAC livery

21 Jan 2019 by Mark Caswell
B747 in BOAC livery

British Airways has announced plans to paint selected aircraft with a series of retro liveries, as the carrier celebrates its centenary year in 2019.

The first aircraft to receive a commemorative paintjob will be a B747 jumbo (registration G-BYGC), which will be painted in the 1964-1974 era British Overseas Airways Corporation livery.

BOAC was a direct predecessor of British Airways, having combined with British European Airways (BEA) to form the British Airways brand in 1974.

The retro-painted aircraft will arrive at Heathrow on February 18, and will retain the livery until its planned retirement in 2023.

The BOAC livery is the first of a number of retro designs set to be unveiled this year, with BA using it as “an opportunity to revisit history of UK commercial aviation in British Airways’ centenary year”.

B747 BOAC centenary livery sketch

British Airways said that the B747 jumbo had been chosen for the BOAC livery, “as it is a later variant of the same aircraft type that adorned the design when it was initially in operation”.

The carrier stresses that all new aircraft entering the fleet will sport BA’s established Chatham Dockyard design – including the forthcoming A350s, the first of which is due to be delivered to the carrier this year.

Details of previous commemorative BA liveries, including the golden dove during the London 2012 Olympics, can be seen here.

Commenting on the news Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

“So many British Airways customers and colleagues have fond memories of our previous liveries, regularly sharing their photos from across the globe, so it’s incredibly exciting to be re-introducing this classic BOAC design.

“Our history has shaped who we are today, so our centenary is the perfect moment to revisit our heritage and the UK’s aviation landscape through this iconic livery.”

British Airways traces its history back to August 1919, when Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service, between London and Paris. A potted history of the airline can be seen here.

The carrier is also set to unveil new uniforms this year, designed by British designer Ozwald Boateng OBE.

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