British Airways yesterday confirmed plans to revive old aircraft liveries as part of its centenary celebrations.

The first aircraft to emerge in a legacy paint scheme will be a Boeing 747 in the design of its predecessor British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

The livery from the 1964–74 BOAC era will first be seen when the aircraft leaves a paint shop in Dublin and arrives into Heathrow on February 18 before entering service the following day.

This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first Boeing 747 flight only a few days earlier.

The BOAC 747 will be the first aircraft to receive a retro livery with more details of further designs to be revealed “in due course”.


The 747 has been chosen for the BOAC livery as it is a later variant of the same aircraft type that flew with the design when it was initially in operation.

The BOAC livery will remain on the 747 until it retires in 2023. By this time, the carrier will have retired the majority of its 747 fleet, replacing them with long-haul aircraft including 18 A350s and 12 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the next four years.

All new aircraft entering the fleet, including the Airbus A350, will continue to receive the current Chatham Dockyard design.

BA chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz said: “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.”