The fourth and final British Airways aircraft in a heritage livery has touched down at Heathrow this morning. The Boeing 747 adorns the Negus design which was originally on the British Airways fleet from 1974-1980.
The arrival of the aircraft rounds off a nostalgic few weeks for the aviation community. Enthusiasts around the world have already been treated to a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) liveried Boeing 747, a British European Airways (BEA) Airbus 319 and a British Airways Landor 747, which have collectively flown to more than 30 destinations across the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
The special series of designs have been introduced to mark British Airways’ centenary, as the airline celebrates its past while looking to the future. Alongside the heritage liveries, all new aircraft entering the fleet, including the A350, will continue to receive today’s Chatham Dockyard design.
The Negus-liveried 747-400, registration G-CIVB, entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport earlier this month where it was painted with the first version of the Negus livery which adorned the British Airways fleet from 1974-1980, directly after the merger of BOAC and BEA and the formation of the airline that customers know today. The aircraft will head to Cape Town later today for its first commercial flight in its retro design.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Reintroducing four heritage designs in to our fleet has been an incredibly nostalgic time for us and our customers, we’re impressed at how popular they’ve been. 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.”
When it initially flew, the Negus livery was the first to carry “British Airways” since 1939, when the original British Airways Limited merged with Imperial Airways to form BOAC. Interestingly, the Union Flag is not present on the side of the aircraft as, like the final BEA aircraft livery, the flag began to be fully celebrated on the aircraft’s tailfin instead.
In its centenary year, British Airways is hosting a range of activities and events. The airline is 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 Modern Britons; the people up and down the country who are currently shaping modern Britain, and of course, the year would not be complete without creating some special moments for customers – on and off board.
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. Earlier this week the airline also revealed its highly-anticipated new business class seat – ‘Club Suite’ – and confirmed it will arrive on the first of its A350 aircraft in July.