British Airways Reveals the Second Centennial Livery With 1960s-Inspired A319

Mar 4, 2019

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British Airways has rolled out the second aircraft featuring a unique livery to celebrate the airline’s 100-year anniversary in 2019.

The aircraft, an Airbus A319, sports the colors of now-defunct British European Airways (BEA), which was originally designed by Mary De Saulles in 1959, when the airline received its first jet-powered aircraft, and was used until 1968.

BEA operated European as well as some North African and Middle Eastern routes until 1974 when it merged with BOAC to become British Airways.

British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

TPG was at London Heathrow to welcome the Airbus, with the registration G-EUPJ, as it arrived, freshly painted from Shannon, just after 10:30am on Monday. Just like BEA did, this single-aisle Airbus will serve European and North African routes.

British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

While it was a cold and windy March morning at Heathrow, the skies briefly cleared as the aircraft taxied to the original BEA hangar, providing a fantastic backdrop for the special arrival, which stood out even amongst the huge and diverse range of airlines at one of the world’s busiest airports.

This aircraft will retain the special livery until it is retired next year.

The A319 may not be as instantly recognizable or impressive in size as the iconic 747 Jumbo Jets receiving the other centennial liveries, yet the special BEA livery looked fantastic on the smaller aircraft. Although BEA did not operate any A319s, which were built two decades after the airine’s demise, the adaptation remained mostly true to the original, minus some small modifications to reflect modern safety and identification requirements.

British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

This livery follows the first centennial one, a Boeing 747-400 painted in the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) design unveiled last month.

As with the BOAC livery event, the BEA unveiling featured some unique historical literature from the original airline, with menus, route maps, staff induction guides and timetables to destinations like Amsterdam, Ankara, Nicosia and Zurich.

Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

The aircraft resumes normal operations from Monday afternoon, with its first stop being Manchester (MAN) as BA1396 before returning the same day, followed by other short-haul European destinations from London Heathrow. You can track the aircraft’s location and scheduled operations through FlightRadar.

British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

BA has a total of 42 A319s in its sizable fleet of almost 300 aircraft.

British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

The third centennial livery, to be unveiled in April, will be the Landor design used during the 1980s and 90s, which will again be painted on a Boeing 747.

British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
British Airways special BEA livery Airbus A319. Photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

As well as celebrating the centennial year, 2019 is a big year for British Airways, with the delivery of the first Airbus A350 featuring the highly-anticipated new Club World seat.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy

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