British Airways is set to bring back a part of its history for its 100th anniversary by painting a B747 aircraft in the livery of its predecessor, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

The design from the 1964-1974 BOAC era will be painted in Dublin and arrive at Heathrow airport on 18 February before entering service the following day. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first B747 flight a few days earlier.

BA says the aircraft will be the first to receive a historic livery, with details of further designs to be revealed later in the year. Planes that receive retro liveries will fly on regular BA routes.

New aircraft entering the carrier’s fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive the modern Chatham Dockyard design.

The BOAC livery will remain on the aircraft until it retires in 2023, by which time BA will have phased out the majority of its B747 fleet. The carrier is replacing these planes with new long-haul aircraft including 18 A350s and 12 B787 Dreamliners, as well as 26 short-haul aircraft. This is part of BA’s £6.5 billion investment.

CEO and chairman Alex Cruz commented: “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.”

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