British Airways has today revealed the second design in its series of heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary – an Airbus A319 will be painted in the colours of the airline’s short-haul predecessor – British European Airways (BEA).
The announcement comes after huge crowds turned out to see the first heritage livery – a 747 in British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) colours – touch down at Heathrow on Monday, with more arriving at the airport the following day to see it depart on its first flight to New York.
The A319, reg G-EUPJ, will enter the IAC paint bay at Shannon Airport this weekend where it will be repainted with the BEA livery which flew predominantly on domestic and European routes between 1959 and 1968.
However, there will be a significant difference with the replica; the aircraft will have a grey upper wing, rather than the traditional red, to meet current wing paint reflectivity requirements.
It will return to Heathrow and enter service next month flying across the UK and Europe, with the design remaining on the aircraft until it retires next year. The aircraft can be followed using tracking website Flightradar24, which will feature a special image of the livery.
British Airways’ chairman and chief executive officer, Alex Cruz said: “There’s been plenty of speculation about our next heritage livery, so it’s great to finally be able to make this exciting announcement. BEA is an important part of our history, and many customers and colleagues will have fond memories flying on its aircraft.
“We’re sure this latest livery will bring back a flood of emotions and pride in not only British Airways, but the UK’s impressive aviation history – and what better time to do that than in our centenary year as we celebrate our past and look to the future. I can’t wait to see this classic design taking back to the skies.”
Both the BEA and the BOAC heritage liveries are part of a special series to mark British Airways’ centenary, as the airline celebrates its past while looking to the future. More replica designs will be revealed in due course, while all new aircraft entering the fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive today’s Chatham Dockyard design.
The centenary activity is taking place alongside the airline’s current five-year £6.5 billiuon investment for customers. This includes the installation of WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline will also be introducing new Club World seat with direct aisle access later this year.