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British Airways has unveiled the second of its retrospective liveries to mark its centenary year, an Airbus A319 aircraft in a British European Airways livery.
The aircraft, registration G-EUPJ, returned to London Heathrow this morning having been repainted in Shannon over the past week.
About British European Airways
British European Airways (BEA) was, along with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), one of the two immediate predecessor airlines to BA.
BEA was formed in 1946. It was initially a division of BOAC and initially took over services previously operated by the RAF from Croydon Airport to mainland Europe.
The first passenger flight to operate in its own right is believed to have operated at 08:40 on 1 August 1946 from Northolt to Marseille, Rome and Athens. In 1954, the airline had transferred operations to what is now known as Heathrow. It progressively built up an extensive UK domestic and European network.
The airline operated a wide variety of aircraft including the Airspeed AS 57 Ambassador, BAC One-Eleven, de Havilland DH 106 Comet 4B and Vickers Viscount series – a far cry from the streamlined, and much larger, Airbus A320 workhouse of European short-haul travel today.
BEA was also known for its “Silver Wing” flagship service. Lunchtime flights from London to Paris were deliberately slowed down so passengers could enjoy a leisurely meal and champagne, something today’s passengers could only dream of.
There were moments of tragedy in its history, most notably the Munich air disaster. On 6 February 1958, a charter BEA Flight 609 crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway at Munich-Riem airport. On board the aircraft was the Manchester United football team along with a number of supporters and journalists. 23 of the 44 passengers on board the aircraft died.
The next aircraft to be painted in a retrospective livery is a Boeing 747, registration G-BNLY, which is currently being painted in the Landor Associates livery.
One thought on “BA Unveils Retro British European Airways Livery”
British Airways in celebrating their centenary really ought to recognise the person responsible for starting it, George Holt Thomas, who founded Aircraft Transport & Travel on 5th.October 1916. His airline Aircraft Transport & Travel operated the world`s first international, daily, regular, scheduled airline service on 25th August 1919. In the manner that BEA had the names of famous individuals from the early days of aviation, George Holt Thomas`s name should be on one of your fleet. So far British Airways are making great publicity about the centenary without giving any credit to Holt Thomas.