British Airways Takes a Step Back in Time to Welcome Boeing 747-400 With BOAC Livery

Feb 18, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

British Airways revealed on Monday a stunning airplane, a Boeing 747-400 outfitted in the livery of the airline’s predecessor, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). The jet, which BA showed off at one of its hangars at London Heathrow Airport, will retain the retro livery until it’s retired in 2023.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

The retro paint job was first announced by BA in January as a way for the airline to celebrate its 100-year anniversary. Since then, the aircraft received its new paint job in Dublin. On Monday morning around 9:15am local time, the 747, registered G-BYGC, departed from Dublin (DUB) for its home base at Heathrow (LHR).

Image courtesy FlightRadar24.

No passengers were on board the one-hour, seven-minute flight. While the 20-year-old aircraft left a sunny Dublin, it was welcomed to London with rain.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

The weather didn’t keep the excitement level among crew — both current and former — and spectators down. Former BOAC flight attendants, and current crew showed off the retro uniforms from the BOAC days, which were taken out of storage for the special occasion.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

British Airways’ Heritage collection also brought in some of the literature used in the days when 747s were operating with BOAC. From dinner menus to inflight entertainment catalogues and even newspaper clippings, the 747 has played a significant role in the history of the airline. (BA hasn’t changed anything on this Jumbo Jet besides the colors; inside, the seating is the same as all other British Airways 747s in first class, comparatively unexciting business class, plus premium economy and economy.)

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

The aircraft’s shiny new paint job features the classic BOAC block letters. The navy color extends from the nose, streamlining to a narrow line around the back of the aircraft. Each of the four engines is adorned with the BOAC lettering in a gold color, matching that on the Speedbird on the tail. (“Speedbird” is, to this day, the radio call sign of British Airways planes.)

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

Monday’s arrival of G-BYGC in its new livery coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Boeing 747’s first flight. It also comes at a special time for British Airways, specifically, as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

British Airways currently flies a livery known as Chatham Dockyard. The BOAC livery flew between 1964 and 1974, when BOAC and British European Airways were merged into BA.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

On April 14, 1971, BOAC operated its first commercial Boeing 747 flight, from Heathrow (LHR) to New York (JFK). That aircraft was registered as G-AWNF, an early model 100. It featured two classes in five “cabins” — two first class and three economy.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

Currently, British Airways has 34 Boeing 747-400s in its fleet, making it the world’s largest operator of the aircraft.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

Tuesday, G-BYGC will fly its first revenue flight in the retro paint job from London (LHR) to New York (JFK) as BA117. The aircraft will turn around on the same day and head back to London as BA172.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

Following its LHR-JFK routing, the aircraft will fly BA295 from London (LHR) to Chicago (ORD) on Feb. 20, with a same-day turnaround as BA294 back to London.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

By 2023, when G-BYGC is retired, BA will have taken out of service most of its 747 fleet, replacing them with more fuel-efficient aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350. In the next four years, BA will take delivery of 12 787s and 18 A350s, the first of the latter coming in July 2019.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

As BA phases out the Queen of the Skies, it’s giving passengers the chance to fly on the aircraft one last time in a real blast from the past. As its fellow superjumbo jet, the Airbus A380, begins to fade, the days for passengers to take a ride on a double-decker aircraft are numbered. For AvGeeks, the memory of the days of BOAC and when the 747 was brand new live on — at least for now, through special liveries like this.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.