A British Airways Airbus A319 will be painted in the colours of the airline’s short-haul predecessor British European Airways (BEA).

It will be the second design in its series of heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary.

The BEA livery will re-appear after a Boeing 747 was painted in the colours of former long haul arm BOAC.

The A319 will be repainted with the BEA livery which flew mainly on domestic and European routes between 1959 and 1968.

However, the aircraft will have a grey upper wing, rather than the traditional red, to meet current wing paint reflectivity requirements.

The Airbus will return to Heathrow and enter service next month flying across the UK and Europe, with the design remaining on the aircraft until it retires next year.

More replica designs will also be revealed in due course, according to BA.

As well as looking back, the airline is also hosting BA 2119 – a programme designed to lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers and customer experience of the future.

The airline will be working with expert partners to identify BA’s 100 Great Britons, people who are shaping modern Britain.

Chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz said: “There’s been plenty of speculation about our next heritage livery, so it’s great to finally be able to make this exciting announcement.

“BEA is an important part of our history, and many customers and colleagues will have fond memories flying on its aircraft.

“We’re sure this latest livery will bring back a flood of emotions and pride in not only British Airways, but the UK’s impressive aviation history – and what better time to do that than in our centenary year as we celebrate our past and look to the future. I can’t wait to see this classic design taking back to the skies.”

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