British Airways welcomed its first Boeing 747-400 painted in the heritage British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) livery at Heathrow today, as the airline celebrates its 100th birthday.
The aircraft entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport on 5 February 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.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, 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 Boeing 747 flew directly from Dublin Airport to Heathrow, touching down this morning. Its next flight will be tomorrow, Tuesday 19 February, when it departs for New York JFK operating as flight BA117. This flight is particularly significant as it was the first route the B747 flew in BOAC colours.
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, replacing them with a series of latest-generation Airbus and Boeing widebody twinjets. This includes taking delivery of 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years, as well as another 26 short-haul aircraft, all part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment.