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?
Why they would want to remind people of the existence of BEA is beyond me. Whilst BOAC had an excellent reputation, BEA was a by-word of everything that was wrong with a state-owned airline. Rude, expensive, late and uncomfortable.
That’s not my memory of BEA at all. I used to enjoy flying with them and they offered what at the time was good service and decent value for money.
It’s a pity this livery has been painted on to a plane that’s due to leave the fleet next year, I would have liked to see it on a new A20N and it could have lasted for a few years until a repaint is due, after all they’ve only just repainted the last 2012 dove livery.
RE: BEA was a by-word of everything that was wrong with a state-owned airline. Rude, expensive, late and uncomfortable.
That sounds just like a great many so-called “privately managed/shareholder owned” airlines of today such as American, United, Ryanair, Allegiant, Frontier, and a few others, including even BA! 😉
I love it! Congratulations to British Airways for another stunning retro livery.
I’m old enough to remember flying aboard BEA’s Viscount and Vanguard aircraft. The latter (seen in the photo above) was one of my favorite planes, with its large oval windows and wide, plush seats.
The BEA livery didn’t appeal to me back then, when there were so many beautiful and distinctive airline paint jobs. But in this era of boring, Eurowhite jets, BA’s little 319 looks so-o-o cool!
This looks nicer to me than the BOAC livery. Black & Red is not a color you will find on airlines today!
I thought the next after the Landor was going to be the Negus.
Yeah, me too on the Negus livery presumed as likely being the fourth and last of the retro jet liveries for BA’s centennial celebration.
FWIW, the Negus livery was seen as prominently featured in pics from the Concorde lounge on half a dozen or so flight bags that were included in a display at JFK Airport on the day the BOAC 747 made its debut stateside.
Gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the rest of the planes.
Sweet livery, but ironic that it’s British European Airways, given Brexit. As is your comment that “people enjoy being part of something bigger than themselves.” Evidently 52% don’t.