British European Airways (BEA) will be the next heritage livery to take to the skies on an Airbus 319, with the aircraft going to the paint bay this past weekend, and will return to Heathrow next month. The news comes after crowds gathered to watch the arrival of the BOAC Boeing 747 on Monday as heritage liveries enter service as part of British Airways’ centenary celebrations.
British Airways has today revealed the second design in its series of heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary – an Airbus 319 will be painted in the colours of the airline’s short-haul predecessor, British European Airways (BEA).
The announcement comes after huge crowds turned out to see the first heritage livery – a 747 in British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) colours – touch down at Heathrow on Monday, with more arriving at the airport the following day to see it depart on its first flight to New York.
The A319, reg G-EUPJ, will enter the IAC paint bay at Shannon Airport this weekend where it will be repainted with the BEA livery which flew predominantly on domestic and European routes between 1959 and 1968. However, there will be a significant difference with the replica; the aircraft will have a grey upper wing, rather than the traditional red, to meet current wing paint reflectivity requirements.
It 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. The aircraft can be followed using tracking website Flightradar24, which will feature a special image of the livery.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, 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.”
Both the BEA and the BOAC heritage liveries are part of a special series to mark British Airways’ centenary, as the airline celebrates its past while looking to the future. More replica designs will be revealed in due course, while all new aircraft entering the fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive today’s Chatham Dockyard design.
In its centenary year British Airways is hosting a range of activities and events. As well as looking back, the airline is also hosting BA 2119 – 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 be working with expert partners to identify BA’s 100 Great Britons; the people up and down the country who are currently shaping modern Britain, and of course, the year would not be complete without some special flying and moments for customers.
The centenary activity is taking place alongside the airline’s current five-year £6.5bn investment for customers. This includes the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline will also be introducing new Club World seat with direct aisle access later this year.