British Airways rolls out retro BOAC livery on Boeing 747 to mark 100 years

Aviation enthusiasts got a nostalgic treat as special plane left Dublin Airport, bound for London Heathrow

The BOAC liveried British Airways 747 is making a special trip from Dublin to London Heathrow. Courtesy British Airways
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Air travellers of a certain age at Dublin Airport on Monday could have been forgiven for thinking they'd gone back to 1964 as a British Overseas Airways Corporation Boeing 747 powered down the runway, bound for London Heathrow.

The reality was that British Airways rolled out special edition livery as part of its centenary celebrations. The plane will enter service from Tuesday.

The BOAC livery was used from 1964 to 1974. British Airways said further designs would be revealed in due course.

Monday's 747 was deliberately chosen for the BOAC livery as it is a later variant of the same aircraft type that sported the design when the state-owned airline first operated.

“Our history has shaped who we are today, so our centenary is the perfect moment to revisit our heritage and the UK’s aviation landscape through this iconic livery,” said Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and chief executive.

The BOAC livery will remain on the Boeing 747 until it retires in 2023. By this time, British Airways will have retired most of its 747 fleet.

Aviation enthusiasts shared their joy at the sight of the "gorgeous" livery on social media.

In 1972, the businesses of BOAC and British European Airways were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board, with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974.

The Boeing 747 recently celebrated 50 years since its first flight, although the "Queen of the Skies" is gradually being replaced by newer models.