British Airways Appears To Have Grounded Retro Jet Boeing 747s

British Airways appears to have grounded its three Boeing 747 aircraft painted in retro liveries. One has been formally stored, with the remaining two having not flown for at least five days.

British Airways, Retrojet, Grounded
British Airways appears to have grounded its Boeing 747 retrojet fleet. Photo: British Airways

A year ago, a celebration was in full swing. In the run-up to British Airways’ 100th birthday celebrations, the airline repainted four aircraft, including three of its iconic Boeing 747, in liveries from its past. However, as a large portion of the airline’s fleet has been grounded, so have the hugely popular retro liveries. The airline’s retro A319 remains flying from London Heathrow for the time being.

Boeing 747 status

British Airways has three Boeing 747s that wear a retro livery. These three liveries are the BOAC, Landor, and Negus liveries, and were presented by the airline in that order.

British Airways Negus
BOAC was the first heritage livery revealed by British Airways. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

G-BYGC was the first aircraft to receive the retro-livery treatment. The aircraft touched down at Heathrow in its new (old) livery on the 18th of February 2019. It was then repainted in the BOAC livery.

Since then, it has traveled around the world. However, the aircraft last flew on the 26th of March. It has remained on the ground at Heathrow since then. At the time of being repainted, British Airways intended to retire this aircraft in 2023.

The British Airways 747 in Landor livery arrives at London Heathrow on 09 March 2019.
Photo: Nick Morrish/British Airways

G-BNLY was next up, receiving a Landor paint job. What made this repaint especially exciting was the fact that the aircraft had previously worn the livery when it originally entered into service with British Airways. Today the airline stored the aircraft, flying it down to Bournemouth to keep a number of A320s company. Again, G-BNLY is not scheduled to be retired until 2023.

British Airways, Retrojet, Grounded
Landor is so far the only aircraft to have been stored. Photo:

G-CIVB got the most recent retro repaint into a Negus livery, landing into Heathrow on the 21st of March 2019. Arguably this author’s favorite retro-jet, the aircraft last flew on the 28th of February. It operated a flight from Miami to London Heathrow. This aircraft is due to be retired in 2022 unless the plan changes. However, British Airways could consider retiring the 747 early as other airlines have.

British Airways Boeing 747 Negus
A British Airways Boeing 747 repainted in the carrier’s old Negus livery. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

A319 still flying

There was a fourth repaint. G-EUPJ was repainted into a classic BEA livery. This aircraft remains in service for the time being. In fact, just this morning it operated a rotation to Stuttgart. Later today it’s scheduled to fly to Munich. This aircraft will also proudly wear its livery until it is retired.

British Airways only repainted one short-haul aircraft. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

A large portion of the British Airways short-haul fleet is already being stored in Bournemouth, meaning that G-BNLY will not be alone while it is grounded.

Have you been fortunate enough to fly on one of British Airways’ retro jets? Let us know which jet you flew on, and which route it served, in the comments below!