Final British Airways retro livery lands in Heathrow

March 22, 2019
British Airways Negus heriatge livery
British Airways Negus 747 Aircraft. Photo: BA/Stuart Bailey Taken: 21st March 2019 Picture by: Stuart Bailey

The collection was completed as the fourth and final aircraft in British Airways heritage livery touched down at London Heathrow Thursday.

The Negus design that adorned the fleet from 1974 to 1980 joins a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) liveried Boeing 747, a British European Airways (BEA) Airbus 319 and a British Airways Landor 747 sporting the livery used from 1984 to 1997.

British Airways livery heritage
The BOAC 747 livery.

The aircraft were painted to celebrate the airline’s centenary.

READ: BA launches spiffing new business class seats.

The Negus livery was in service from 1974-1980, and was the airline’s first after the merger of BOAC and BEA.

It was the first to carry “British Airways” since 1939, when the original British Airways Limited merged with Imperial Airways to form BOAC.

The airline noted that the Union Flag is not present on the side of the aircraft as it began to be fully celebrated on the aircraft’s tailfin instead.

“Reintroducing four heritage designs into our fleet has been an incredibly nostalgic time for us and our customers, we’re impressed at how popular they’ve been,’’ said BA chief executive Alex Cruz.

“ In our centenary year it’s important that we celebrate our past, and we also have big plans to look to the future. I’m excited about what the rest of this year has in store.”

British Airways heritage livery
The BEA plane

Other centerary year events include a programme, which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.

The airline will also be working with expert partners to identify BA’s 100 Modern Britons currently shaping the country.

How BA, which only formed as a company after the merger in 1974,  comes to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019 is convoluted.

The UK flag carrier is celebrating its beginnings as the August 25, 1919 launch of regular flights across the English Channel by a small airline called Aircraft Transport and Travel.

British Airways heritage livery
The Landor livery.

AT&T launched the world’s first scheduled international service by flying between Hounslow, Middlesex, and Paris carrying just one passenger.

It only operated for a year before going bankrupt but some of its assets were later used to start Daimler Airway.

A series of mergers saw Daimler folded into Imperial Airways in 1924 and this was later incorporated into BOAC at the start of World War II.