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British Airways repaints plane with retro design not seen for 40 years

Sky News logo Sky News 18/02/2019 Emily Mee, news reporter

a person standing in front of a plane: The livery, which features BOAC colours, has not been used for 40 years © PA The livery, which features BOAC colours, has not been used for 40 years Flight enthusiasts were in for a treat on Monday as British Airways unveiled a plane which had been repainted with its original retro design.

The Boeing 747 arrived at Heathrow airport featuring British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) livery - which had not been used in over 40 years.

Aviation fans gathered to watch the aircraft land, with many praising its retro look.

The livery was originally used between 1964 and 1974, when the airline operated as BOAC.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: The retro livery was originally used between 1964 and 1974 © PA The retro livery was originally used between 1964 and 1974 The plane was repainted at Dublin airport and will continue to sport its nostalgic design until it is taken out of service in 2023.

It will be retracing the first route a Boeing 747 took in BOAC colours on Tuesday by departing for New York.

The redesign is part of celebrations to mark 100 years of British Airways flights, and there are plans to repaint three more planes in retro liveries.

The world's first daily international scheduled air service was launched on 25 August 1919 under the name Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) - a forerunner of British Airways.

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: The plane will keep its retro look until it is taken out of service in 2023 © PA The plane will keep its retro look until it is taken out of service in 2023

The inaugural flight flew from London to Paris and carried a single passenger - as well as cargo including newspapers, Devonshire cream, jam and grouse.

AT&T merged into airlines with various names - including BOAC - resulting in the creation of British Airways in 1974.

The airline has changed its livery several times since.

The repainted plane can be tracked using Flight Radar and will have special imagery of the livery.

British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz said: "The enormous interest we've had in this project demonstrates the attachment many people have to British Airways' history.

"It's something we are incredibly proud of, so in our centenary year it's a pleasure to be celebrating our past while also looking to the future.

"We look forward to many more exciting moments like this as our other aircraft with heritage designs enter service."

The Boeing 747 recently celebrated 50 years since its first flight, although it is gradually being replaced by newer models.

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