British Airways’ latest retro design takes to the skies

British Airways has unveiled the second design in a series of retro liveries as part of its centenary celebrations.

An Airbus A319 touched down at London Heathrow on Monday after being painted in the colours of the carrier’s short-haul predecessor, British European Airways (BEA), at Shannon Airport, Ireland.

The BEA livery was predominantly used on domestic and European routes between 1959 and 1968.

Modern aviation safety standards for heat reflection mean the wings were repainted grey, rather than the traditional red colour.

The design will remain on the aircraft until it retires next year.

The plane arrives at London Heathrow from Shannon, Ireland (Steve Parsons/PA)
The plane arrives at London Heathrow from Shannon, Ireland (Steve Parsons/PA)

Last month a British Airways Boeing 747 was repainted in the colours of British Overseas Airways Corporation.

Details of two more planes to be painted in retro liveries have yet to be disclosed.

British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz said: “It was another really special day as we welcomed our BEA-liveried A319 in to Heathrow this morning, which forms part of our centenary heritage fleet.

“Yet again there were huge crowds lining the perimeter fence to see the aircraft coming in, which shows just how excited people are about these designs.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with positive feedback from customers and colleagues.”

Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) launched the world’s first daily international scheduled flight between London and Paris in August 1919.

British Airways was created in 1974 but describes AT&T as its “forerunner company” due to a series of mergers and takeovers.

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