‘Retro’ BOAC Colours for British Airways’ Boeing 747

A BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) Boeing 747 pictured flying over the UK on April 7, 1971. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images).

British Airways traces its history back to 1919 and, as part of its 100-year birthday celebrations, the airline has announced 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, reg: G-BYGC. The aircraft will leave the paint shop in Dublin and arrive in to Heathrow on February 18, before entering service the following day. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Boeing 747 flight only a few days earlier.

The airline said the BOAC 747 will be the first aircraft to receive a popular design from the carrier’s past and added that more details of further designs with be revealed in due course. All new aircraft entering the fleet, including the Airbus A350, will continue to receive BA’s current Chatham Dockyard design.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, 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 747 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 Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023. By this time, British Airways will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet.