A British Airways Boeing 747 painted in the iconic design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) will makes its first flight (BA117) today (19 February) from Heathrow Airport to New York’s JFK International Airport.
The aircraft landed at Heathrow yesterday after flying from the paint shop in Dublin where it had been since 5 February and where it was stripped of its current British Airways Chatham Dockyard design before being repainted with the BOAC livery which adorned the BOAC fleet between 1964 and 1974.
The 747 will enter the airline’s flying schedule on a regular basis. The first flight to JFK is particularly significant as it was the first route the B747 flew in BOAC colours.
After this, the aircraft will continue to fly British Airways’ 747-operated routes proudly showcasing the design as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations. The aircraft can be tracked using Flight Radar, which will feature a special image of the livery.
British Airways chairman and chief executive officer, Alex Cruz said: “The enormous interest we’ve had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways’ history.
“It’s something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it’s a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future. We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service.”
The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023, to allow as many customers as possible to have the chance to see it. 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 £6.5bn investment for customers.