British Airways released this statement:
After much speculation, British Airways has today revealed the fourth and final design in its series of heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary – a Boeing 747 painted in the Negus design.
The Boeing 747-400, registration G-CIVB, entered the IAC paint bay at Dublin Airport last Saturday where it is being repainted 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 customers know today.
When it initially flew, the Negus livery was the first time an aircraft had carried “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.
The repainted 747 will return to Heathrow and enter service later this month flying to long-haul destinations served by the Boeing 747, with the design remaining on the aircraft until it retires in 2022.
The Negus is the fourth and final heritage design to be painted on a British Airways aircraft following a British Overseas Airways Corporate (BOAC) liveried Boeing 747, a British European Airways (BEA) Airbus 319 and a British Airways Landor 747, all of which are already flying.
The special series of designs are being 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.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Rumours have been circulating for quite some time about this final livery, so it’s exciting to confirm it is the Negus design. It’s particularly significant for us because it’s the first design worn by the British Airways that we all know today, with the distinctive lower case ‘a’ and the Union Flag on the tailfin.”
Below is a video of the 747 aircraft which will be painted in the Negus livery departing Heathrow for Dublin earlier this month:
In its centenary year British Airways is hosting a range of activities and events. As well as looking back, the airline is also hosting BA 2119 – a program, 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 Great Britons; the people up and down the country who are currently shaping modern Britain, and of course, the year would not be complete without some special flying and moments for customers.
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. The airline will also be introducing a new Club World seat with direct aisle access later this year.
Editor’s Note: BOAC Boeing 707 G-AXXY was the first aircraft to wear the Negus and Negus livery in September 1973. BOAC and BEA merged officially on April 1, 1974.