Tag Archives: Cape Town

British Airways and the B747 BOAC Liveries

By Niel Swart

We all have our special airplane, the one that makes you stop and look when you here the rumbling of an engine but there is only one that is truly the queen of the skies… the Boeing 747.

The month of February will be a special one as the 9th will see the 50th birthday of the queen. She appeared in movies, series, printed media, social media, toys, puzzles, balloons, birthday/retirement cakes and many will remember the 1995 Ruby World Cup final, Ndizani, 3 Boeing 747’s over the Union Buildings, their first Boeing 747 flight or the first time ever they saw a Boeing 747. She is basically everywhere and this shows the impact she made on everyday life as we know it. To make things more special, every now and then, we as aviation lovers are treated to a special livery Boeing 747.

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Not only is February the birthday of the Boeing 747 but also the birthday of an icon. A nation’s pride, an airline… British Airways. Yes, they will be celebrating their 100th birthday this year. Of course, the British will celebrate like only the British can with special uniforms, official celebrations and the cherry on top for us, a special livery Boeing 747. Not just any special livery… an BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) livery. Yes, you read it correctly… an BOAC livery. This means that G-BYGC will be gracing the skies in BOAC colours as of 18 February when she will leave Dublin as a newly painted Boeing 747 to return to scheduled service as of 19 February until she retires in 2023. As if this is not enough celebrating, G-BYGC will be 20 years with British Airways. At present she mostly does the transatlantic legs but British Airways did hint at the fact that she will be sent on scheduled flights to as many as possible destinations. So there is a chance we may see here either at Johannesburg or Cape Town.


One of BOAC’s original 747-100s in the 1970s
BOAC Retro Liveries

If you thought that was the end, guess again. British Airways announces new 100 year related bits of information often and it is said that at least another 2 Boeing 747’s are to receive retro liveries until they retire. This has not been confirmed as yet but the grapevine is suggesting G-BNLY and G-CIVB will also receive retro liveries until their retirement. G-CIVB being a frequent visitor to the Cape.

So definitely set alerts on your favourite live flight tracking app for these airplanes as you do not want to miss them if they visit and they have a retro livery.