British Airways Unveils 747 BOAC Retro Livery

Jan 21, 2019

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British Airways is joining the group of airlines that recognize their past by flying a so-called “retro livery” — a plane, or planes, painted in one of the airline’s old color schemes. BA just announced it will bring its first retro livery to one of its 747s. As part of the airline’s 100-year birthday, BA is painting one of its 747s in the livery of one of its predecessor airlines, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).

You can find the aircraft flying with its new paint job as of Feb. 18, 2019. The 747 getting the BOAC livery is registered as G-BYGC, a 20-year-old Boeing 747-400 that BA took delivery of in January 1999. It’s currently being painted in Dublin and will leave the paint shop and return to London Heathrow (LHR) on Feb. 18. On Feb. 19, the aircraft will re-enter service, sporting its new paint job.

A preview of the 747-400 in BOAC retro livery — featuring a small mistake: Engines from the old 747-100 that BOAC flew in the 1970s .

The BOAC livery flew between 1964 and 1974, when BOAC was merged into the newly-formed British Airways. Since 1974, BA’s changed a few color schemes. In 1997, it unveiled the Chatham Royal Dockyard livery, which it still uses today.

“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,” BA Chairman and CEO Alex Cruz said.

G-BYGC will feature the BOAC retro livery until the aircraft is retired in 2023. By then, the airline will have retired the majority of its aging 747 fleet, replacing it with modern and more fuel-efficient aircraft like Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s. All of the new aircraft that it expects to take delivery of will continue to be outfitted in the Chatham Dockyard livery.

While the retro 747 doesn’t re-enter service until Feb. 19, if you’re flying with BA on one of its Queen of the Skies on that date, you’ll want to check out to see if you’re one of the lucky first flyers on the retro paint job. Use flight-tracking sites like FlightRadar24 and search G-BYGC as the date nears. Most recently, G-BYGC has flown between LHR and many of BA’s North American destinations — Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK) and San Diego (SAN).

All photos courtesy British Airways.

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