$189.00 (Ex Tax: $171.82)

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In 1997 British Airways  adopted a new livery. One part of this was a newly stylised version of the British Airways “Speedbird” logo, but the major change was the introduction of tail-fin art. Also known as the Utopia or world image tailfins, they used art and designs from international artists and other sources to represent countries on BA’s route network. The signature of the artist was carried near the design on the tail.

The new corporate logo was created by the London-based design agency Newell and Sorrell, who also oversaw the implementation of the tailfin designs.

The German designs refer to the BA subsidiary Deutsche BA, and the Australian designs to BA’s alliance with Qantas.

  The adoption of this aircraft livery was seen as a move away from the traditional British image of the carrier. BA claimed that the previous Landor Associates scheme carried an air of arrogance and detachment, and insisted that the new tailfins were popular with international travellers. However, they were unpopular with many people in the UK, despite nine of the designs being inspired by either England, Scotland or Wales. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher showed her displeasure at the designs by covering one of the new tailfins on a model 747 with a handkerchief. She declared, “We fly the British flag, not these awful things.” Thatcher also indicated with these fins the airline would lose its identity.

Virgin Atlantic took advantage of the controversy by applying a Union flag scheme to the front end of its aircraft. In their own 1999 relaunch, the flag was also applied to the vertical winglets of Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft.

While the majority of the designs were applied to a variety of aircraft models, one scheme (the stylised version of the Chatham Dockyard Union Flag) was used on Concorde only. By 1999, BA had repainted around 170 aircraft in its new colours but then Chief Executive, Bob Ayling, announced a review of this process. The aircraft already repainted would keep the new designs, but the remainder of the fleet (still showing the pre-1997 union flag design) would receive a variant of Concorde’s Union Flag design. The announcement was timed to divert some attention from Virgin’s relaunch.

Finally in May 2001 the new Chief Executive, Rod Eddington, announced the entire fleet would receive the new Union flag livery. Eddington argued that while an attempt to increase the airline’s appeal was not a bad thing, the exercise hurt the image of the carrier among its core customers — those that are attracted by the British identity, which the ethnic tailfins diluted somewhat (FROM WIKIPEDIA)

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Weight2 kg
Dimensions38 × 38 × 30 cm


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