British Airways to perform flypast of BOAC livery at Royal International Air Tattoo

10 Jun 2019 by Jenni Reid
British Airways BOAC 747

British Airways will perform a flypast of a B747 painted in one of its retro liveries alongside the Red Arrows this summer, in the latest event to mark its centenary.

The aircraft will leave Heathrow at 1110 on July 20 and meet the Red Arrows above RAF Brize Norton before flying to the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire for a flypast at 1215.

The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) design featured on aircraft from 1952 to 1974 and is one of four liveries resurrected by British Airways this year, alongside the Negus, Landor and British European Airways designs.

British Airways A319 aircraft in BEA colours

The flag carrier traces its history back 100 years through the merging of various companies. It considers its first incarnation to be Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, which launched the world’s first daily international air service between London and Paris on August 25, 1919.

That later became Daimler Airways, which merged with three other British airlines in 1924 to form Imperial Airways Limited. Its chief rival by the 1930s was privately-owned British Airways Limited, which was nationalised and merged with Imperial in 1939 to form BOAC.

In 1974, BOAC merged with regional carrier British European Airways, the UK’s second nationalised airline, to form British Airways.

Which is the oldest airline?

BA has already launched numerous products to mark the anniversary, including a branded jar of Marmitelimited-edition products including a Mulberry tote and a teddy bear, and its own English sparkling wine.

Some aviation enthusiasts were left disappointed after buying tickets for regional services on August 25 that were listed as operating B747s, which many thought would be special anniversary flights.

Last week British Airways emailed passengers with tickets for those flights stating that they would no longer be operated by B747s. It acknowledged the speculation and added that it would provide a full refund for anyone who no longer wished to fly.

This year will also see KLM mark its centenary, while Airbus is celebrating 50 years of building commercial aircraft.

Loading comments...

Search Flight

See a whole year of Reward Seat Availability on one page at

The cover of the Business Traveller May 2024 edition
The cover of the Business Traveller May 2024 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below