Today saw the latest British Airways retro jet arrive at Heathrow fresh from the paint shop. The aircraft, registered as G-EUPJ, has been repainted in a vintage BEA livery with a few subtle changes. It landed back in London after 10 days in the paint shop.
This year sees British Airways celebrate one hundred years of flight, following the first flight of aircraft Transport and Travel limited between London and Paris. This first scheduled flight took place on the 25th of August 1919. Although technically a different airline, British Airways’ roots lie in AT&T.
Today’s aircraft delivery comes a the second in a series of four aircraft. The first retro aircraft to be delivered was a Boeing 747-400 which was repainted to resemble a BOAC B747-100. The next aircraft set to be delivered is a B747 in the old Landor livery. This is currently being repainted with no due date.
British Airways has confirmed that a total of 4 aircraft will be repainted. While the final paint scheme is yet to be revealed, it is believed that the next aircraft to be repainted will be a B747 in the old Negus livery.
G-EUPJ arrived back at Heathrow this morning. The A319 had been repainted to resemble a BEA aircraft from many years ago. The aircraft’s livery was redesigned from original photos by a team of experts. However, there were a couple of small differences.
The main difference was the wing colour. The original BEA livery saw aircraft sporting red wings. However, due to requirements relating to wing reflectivity it was necessary to paint the upper surface in a predominantly grey colour. Despite this, the remainder of the aircraft was fairly accurate.
The aircraft is already back in service having flown to Manchester after its Heathrow delivery. The aircraft is set to tour the UK and Europe on scheduled flights, reaching a different population to the B747s. It will wear its livery until it is retired.
Two more aircraft are still set to be delivered for British Airways’ centenary celebration. As previously stated, the first will see a B747 repainted in British Airways’ Landor livery. The aircraft to be repainted previously wore the Landor livery, and as a result will be renamed the “City of Swansea”, a title it held in the previous livery.
While British Airways is yet to confirm the fourth and final livery which will join the retro fleet, the internet is full of speculation. It is widely expected that a Boeing 747 will be repainted in the Negus livery, which preceded the Landor livery. Simple Flying will, of course keep readers up to date with developments.
Speaking of the new livery British Airways Chairman, Alex Cruz, said: “It was another really special day as we welcomed our BEA liveried A319 in to Heathrow this morning, which forms part of our centenary heritage fleet. Yet again there were huge crowds lining the perimeter fence to see the aircraft coming in, which shows just how excited people are about these designs. We’ve been overwhelmed with positive feedback from customers and colleagues.”
What do you think of the new livery? Let us know in the comments down below!
All photos courtesy SpeedBirdUK.