Red Arrows Help British Airways Celebrate 100 Years

The Red Arrows have assisted British Airways with their 100-year celebration. The airline’s BOAC retrojet flew in formation with the British RAF display team at this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo on Saturday.

BOAC, Red Arrows, British Airways
A British Airways Boeing 747 flew in formation with the Red Arrows. Photo: British Airways

Both British Airways and the Red Arrows are renowned as icons of Britain. As such, it makes huge sense for the Air Force’s display team to help British Airways celebrate. It isn’t the first time that British Airways has flown with the Red Arrows, however. In 2013, the airline flew their Airbus A380 in formation with the team.

About the event

The Royal International Air Tattoo is the world’s largest military air show. The largest civil aviation air show is the Paris Air Show. Held every year, the Royal International Air Tattoo sees thousands of spectators heading to RAF Fairford in the United Kingdom. It is always held on the third weekend in July.

BOAC, Red Arrows, British Airways
The Red Arrows have previously flown with BA’s Airbus A380. Photo: British Airways

Much as the Paris Air Show attracts many faces from the aviation industry to talk business at Le Bourget, the Royal International Air Tattoo achieves a similar thing for military aviation. However, while the civil air show swaps between Paris and Farnborough every year, the Air Tattoo stays at Fairford.

An epic flypast

Those lucky enough to attend the airshow on Saturday were in for a treat. While it is always exciting to see the Red Arrows performing, something incredibly special happened. The red Arrows have a habit of performing flypasts with commercial aircraft. In 2013 at the Air Tattoo they flew with BA’s Airbus A380.

Then in 2016, the Royal Air Force’s display team flew with an Airbus A350-1000 at Farnborough airshow. This was repeated in 2017 with a Qatar Airways A350 in Doha. However, what was arguably the best flypast yet happened on Saturday.

BOAC, Red Arrows, British Airways
The flypast was the highlight of the show. Photo: British Airways

British Airways has repainted a Boeing 747 into the colors of its predecessor, BOAC. The aircraft’s retro livery is part of the airline’s centenary celebrations. As such, it seemed like the perfect aircraft to fly with the Red Arrows.

The flypast pleased both the crowds and social media. However, the best part of the airborne stunt was the marvelous images that were captured.

100 Years of British Airways

The stunt occurred in the year which British Airways is celebrating its 100th Birthday in. Through a series of mergers going back in time, the airline traces its heritage back to 1919.

Airbus A350
British Airways will receive its first Airbus A350 on Friday. Photo: Airbus

To celebrate the momentous year, the airline has planned several celebrations. This started with four aircraft painted in differing liveries from BA’s history. This included BOAC, BEA, Landor, and finally Negus. The airline is set to receive its first Airbus A350 at Heathrow on Friday. Following this, the airline will host an exhibition covering the next 100 years of flight at the Saatchi Gallery throughout August. British Airways will celebrate its official 100th birthday on August 23rd.

Did you see the impressive flypast with the Red Arrows? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

3 comments
  1. I was there, two slow passes in formation, very impressive. Could see the 747 in a holding pattern in the distance beforehand.

    1. Wow! I wish I’d seen it. I remember seeing the A350 in the holding pattern at Farnborough a few years back. The BOAC passes must have been amazing!

    2. Yes I caught it too. Wonderfully impression – deceptively slow and gracefully elegant. My seven year old son’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. I’ve nerver seen anything like that in my whole life, he said. I hadn’t either 🙂

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