To celebrate its 25th Anniversary, Qatar Airways has painted one of its Boeing 777 aircraft in its retro livery. The newly painted aircraft was rolled out last Tuesday and made its first flight with the livery on February 16th. The Boeing 777-300ER repainted with this retro livery is registered as A7-BAC and has been with Qatar Airways since 2008, making it almost 14 years old.
The Retro Livery
Even though Qatar Airways is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, the airline actually started operations 3 years prior, in 1994, rather than in 1997. It was in 1997 that Qatar Airways was restructured and their current CEO, Akbar Al Baker, was appointed. Qatar’s current gray livery with an oryx on the tail was introduced in 1997, and the airline’s “retro” livery was in use from 1994 to 1997. Qatar’s special retro livery is actually a homage to the airline’s history before the 25 years of operation that they are celebrating.
Retro Livery Design
Qatar’s retro livery looks much different from the airline’s current livery. Instead of the usual gray livery with a burgundy oryx and text, Qatar’s old livery carries a completely different look. The livery is mostly white, and it features 2 burgundy stripes running down the fuselage of the aircraft. On the tail of the retro livery design, there is a simple oryx logo with a circle around it, as opposed to the more detailed oryx design on current Qatar aircraft. This special edition of the retro livery also has a sticker commemorating Qatar’s 25th anniversary on the engine.
Similar to the previous 2022 FIFA World Cup special livery, Qatar Airways might have decided to paint their special retro livery onto a Boeing aircraft, even though they originally intended to paint it on an A350. This could be due to Qatar’s conflict with Airbus regarding paint issues on their new A350 aircraft. The location where the retro livery 777 was painted, Toulouse, might even suggest this, as the city is a base for Airbus. With an additional 777 painted in a special livery, Qatar now has 9 Boeing 777 aircrafts in special liveries, most of them having the OneWorld or FIFA World Cup livery.
Having served as the flag carrier for the nation of Qatar for over 25 years now, Qatar Airways has achieved many awards and has come a long way since their beginnings in 1994. With this new retro livery serving as a time capsule to the past, Qatar’s CEO hopes that the plane will “bring memories of travel to our [Qatar’s] passengers, especially those who experienced traveling with us in our early years.”
- Business Traveler (Cover image)