The second of British Airways retrojet arrived today at London Heathrow Airport – this time featuring the paintwork of British European Airways (BEA).
BEA Airbus A319 – Image, British Airways
A quick BEA taster
BEA was formed in 1946 and existed until 1974, where it merged with BOAC – thus forming the beginnings of the current British Airways.
The airlines history is well documented, with the airline working in different fields – from European operations, helicopter ops, Airtours (the charter arm) regional operations and even Cyprus Airways.
As result, the airline operated a mixture of both propeller and jet engined aircraft from the Vickers Viscount, The de Havilland Comet B4, The Hawker Siddeley Trident (which a variant of it conducted the first ever auto-land of an aircraft in 1965), the BAC One-Eleven and even the Boeing 707.
BEA used various different liveries during its lifetime but British Airways has painted an Airbus A319 in a livery that flew between the late 1950s to the late 1960s.
This livery is a red, black and white livery, with the BEA logo in a red square each side of a white tail. as well as near the front and rear passenger doors on the left fuselage.
BEA painted aircraft are preserved at locations at the UK including the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Brooklands Museum and Manchester Airport Runway Visitors Park.
Welcome Retrojet – G-EUPJ
An Airbus A319 will be painted up in the 1959 version of the livery.
The modern-day variant has a few nods to design requirements and safety -the aircraft will have a grey upper wing, rather than the traditional red, to meet current wing paint reflectivity requirements. The lower wing will retain the traditional red. The plane will also get a BA 100 logo on rear of the fuselage too.
G-EUPJ entered the British Airways fleet in 2000 and is based across both Heathrow and Gatwick airports, with recent operations keeping it near Gatwick.
But your time to spot this plane is limited. G-EUPJ is due to be removed from the British Airways fleet in 2020, with British Airways slowly removing the Airbus A319 family from its fleet.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:
“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.”
And next… Landor
With two retrojets done, British Airways are working on their third retrojet. And for a lot of people – its one they’re looking forward to the most. Landor.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.