Large crowds gathered at Heathrow earlier this month to watch the much-anticipated arrival of a British Airways Boeing 747 painted in the iconic design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).
The aircraft entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport on Feb. 5 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.”
From the paint bay at Dublin Airport, the BOAC Boeing 747 flew directly to Heathrow on the aptly named BA100. It then departed for New York JFK operating as flight BA117. The flight was particularly significant, as it was the first route the B747 flew in BOAC colours.
The aircraft will continue to fly British Airways’ 747-operated routes proudly showcasing the design, as part of the airline’s centenary celebrations. The aircraft can be tracked using Flight Radar, which will feature a special image of the livery.
The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023.