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 flight will take place at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Gloucestershire on July 20, and feature the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) livery.
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.
BA has already launched numerous products to mark the anniversary, including a branded jar of Marmite, limited-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.