British Airways ethnic liveries

British Airways Ethnic Liveries

British Airways ethnic liveries

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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 the 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 suggested 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."

Virgin Atlantic took advantage of the controversy by applying a Union flag scheme to the front end of its aircraft....
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