BA flags community art in 60m global redesign

British Airways’ long-awaited redesign features art from communities all over the world, but the airline is retaining its full name on the aircraft and not dropping the “British” association.

The new corporate identity, by London-based Newell & Sorrell, sees the removal of part of the Union flag from the tail of the aircraft and its replacement with art from up to 50 communities around the world. These include the Ncoakhoe people of the Kalahari, while British communities are also represented – Concorde, for instance, will fly a version of the Union flag created at Chatham Dockyard.

The design is intended to “celebrate and unite” the communities the airline serves – at least 60 per cent of BA’s passengers are from overseas.

The programme cost 2m to develop over the past two years and will cost a further 60m to implement, though BA says much of this money would have been spent anyway as aircraft were repainted.

The new livery was created following research which showed both passengers and staff found the present design, created by Landor’s San Francisco office in 1984, had become “tired, monotonous and introspective”. So the new design was based on the premise that BA is a “citizen of the world”, though based in Britain.

While the airline did consider dropping the word British from its name, it decided that would be the wrong approach.

BA also intends to invest 6bn in new services, products, aircraft and training over the next three years in its bid to become the leader in world travel. Meanwhile, the plans for its alliance with American Airlines are still stalled.

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