British Airways has announced that its Airbus A319 G-EUPJ will be the next to adopt a retro scheme as part of the airline’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
The aircraft will go into the IAC paint shop at Shannon Airport this weekend and will re-emerge next month in the second (1959-1968) version of the British European Airways (BEA) ‘Red Box’ colour scheme. 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.
‘Papa-Juliet’ 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 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 February 18, with more arriving at the airport the following day to see it depart on its first flight to New York.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, 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.”
British Airways said more replica designs will be revealed in due course.
The airline is to host a range of activities and events this year. As well as looking back, the airline is also hosting BA 2119 – a programme, which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.
The airline said it will be working with “expert partners to identify BA’s 100 Great Britons; the people up and down the country who are currently shaping modern Britain, and of course, the year would not be complete without some special flying and moments for customers.”