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British Airways Goes Retro on a Boeing 747

British Airways Goes Retro on a Boeing 747

As part of its 100-year birthday, British Airways has announced that it will be painting a Boeing 747 in the much-admired design of its predecessor, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

The livery from the 1964-1974 BOAC era will adorn a B747, registration G-BYGC. The aircraft will leave the paint shop in Dublin and arrive into London Heathrow on 18th February before entering service the following day. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Boeing 747 flight only a few days earlier.

The BOAC 747 will be the first aircraft to receive a popular design from British Airways’ past with more details of further designs to be revealed in due course. Aircraft that receive the retro liveries will fly British Airways’ routes, showcasing some of the popular designs as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations.

All new aircraft entering the fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive today’s Chatham Dockyard design.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, 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.”

The B747 has been deliberately 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 BOAC livery will remain on the B747 until it retires in 2023. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with new state-of-the-art long-haul aircraft. This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years – which feature new cabins and are more environmentally efficient – as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5 billion investment for customers.

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Michael Flood is the Editor of Ireland's leading travel industry publication, Irish Travel Trade News. With more than 35 years experience, he has accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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