British Airways Is Going Retro – Select Aircraft Will Get Historic Liveries From February


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I’m no avgeek but there aren’t many things that bring a bigger smile to my face at an airport than an aircraft livery from decades ago.

There’s something about old liveries that, rightly or wrongly, brings to mind more civilized times in air travel. Times where passengers had legroom, flight attendants smiled and flyers had a little class.

Clearly this is a very rose-tinted recollection of the past as we also had hijackings, smoking sections onboard and there was aways a good chance that your baggage would take a trip to a very different part of the world than the one you were heading to….but that’s not the point.

The point is that old liveries can be a very nostalgic thing and British Airways is about to dive in to a sea of nostalgia.

As part of its 100th birthday celebrations British Airways will be repainting a number of its aircraft in liveries from days gone by and the first such aircraft will make an appearance on 18 February 2019.

A BA Boeing 747 aircraft (reg G-BYGC) will be the first aircraft to get a retro paint job and it will be adorned in the livery of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) which came into existence in 1939.

The livery the aircraft will getting dates back to the 1964 – 1974 era and will remain on the aircraft until it is retired in 2023.

The repainted 747 will enter service on 19 February which will be just a few days after the 50th anniversary of the first ever Boeing 747 flight – the Queen of The Skies hits 50 this year.

British Airways has confirmed that the BOAC 747 will be the first of a number of aircraft to receive the retro treatment and more details of further designs will be revealed “in due course“.

Here’s what Alex Cruz (BA CEO) has had to say about the retro liveries:

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.

That’s nicely said Alex…now if we could also see you revisit the kind of service British Airways used to offer that would be great too!

British Airways hasn’t given details of what route(s) we can expect to see the BOAC-liveried 747 flying when it first appears in February but, while I have my fingers crossed that we’ll see it on the LHR-LAX route, I suspect that JFK is likely to be the aircraft’s first destination….but that’s just a hunch.

Images courtesy of British Airways

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