British Airways announces BEA as next heritage livery

A6TW3M BEA Vanguard aircraft G APEI on ground at London Heathrow Airport under mysterious slightly pink overcast daylight 1962 JMH2713

British Airways revealed on Friday the second design in its series of heritage liveries to mark its 100th anniversary.

The airline will be painting an Airbus A319 (reg G-EUPJ) in the colours of its short-haul predecessor, British European Airways (BEA). The aircraft entered the IAC paint bay at Shannon Airport this weekend.

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 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 design will resemble BEA’s original livery, but to meet current wing paint reflectivity requirements will have a grey upper wing, rather than the traditional red.


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.”

BEA flew predominantly on domestic and European routes between 1959 and 1968.

The aircraft can be followed using tracking website Flightradar24, which will feature a special image of the livery.