British Airways has revealed the second in its series of heritage liveries, this time a reminder of the British European Airways (BEA) era.
The Airbus A319 arrived in Heathrow yesterday from Shannon, Ireland with fresh paint. It soon made its first voyage to Manchester. This aircraft will serve domestic and European destinations until it is retired next year. Unlike the original, this livery will feature a gray upper wing instead of red (due to safety regulations).
BEA existed from 1946 to 1974, serving routes in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East as well as domestic routes. It merged with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) to form British Airways in 1974.
Alex Cruz, BA’s CEO, pointed to how popular these heritage designs are:
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.
Why so popular? Because people enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves. British Airways, celebrating its 100th birthday, has touched so many people in so many ways over the years. Airline liveries become links to the past.
Here’s what the original livery looked like (circa 1962):
I’d say the new paint job looks stunning. We still have another 747 to look forward to later this month bearing a British Airways Landor livery (used from 1984-1997). Then, we will get one more “mystery” livery that I can only hope pays homage to Imperial Airways.
What do you think of the new British Airways BEA Retro A319?