Gorgeous: Qatar Airways Retro Livery Boeing 777

Gorgeous: Qatar Airways Retro Livery Boeing 777

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I recently wrote about how images leaked of a new Qatar Airways Boeing 777 in a retro livery, which might be one of my favorite retro liveries ever. Watar Airways has now officially unveiled this aircraft, as the plane has entered service.

Qatar Airways rolls out retro livery

A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300ER sporting a special livery is now flying around the globe. The plane in question has the registration code A7-BAC, and it’s a roughly 13 year old jet that entered service in 2008.

The plane flew from Doha (DOH) to Toulouse (TLS) on January 26, 2022, and presumably that’s where the plane has been repainted. Toulouse is the home of Airbus, which Qatar Airways is currently in a big dispute with, so it’s funny to see a Boeing aircraft being repainted there.

On February 16 the plane returned to Doha, and since then it has flown to Paris (CDG), Sydney (SYD), Male (MLE), Manchester (MAN), and Cape Town (CPT), so it has done quite a bit of travel in such a short period. While this plane isn’t being rostered on specific routes, you can track the registration of this aircraft here, to see where it’s flying on a particular day.

Qatar Airways 25th anniversary Boeing 777

This is Qatar Airways’ 25th anniversary livery

In case you’re wondering about the significance of this livery, this plane is intended to celebrate Qatar Airways’ 25th anniversary. Here’s how Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker describes the livery:

“We are tremendously excited to celebrate our 25th anniversary by introducing this unique aircraft to our fleet. We hope this retro design will bring many memories of travel to our passengers, especially those who experienced travelling with us in our early years. This livery marks the milestone of how far we have come as the national carrier, evolving into a six-time World’s Best Airline winner.”

Indeed, this is more of less Qatar Airways’ initial livery when the airline was founded. As you can see, there was a big focus on burgundy, and the oryx was featured on the tail.

Photo credit: Perry Hoppe

In some ways, not all that much has changed — Qatar Airways jets still have the oryx on the tail, and burgundy is still prominently featured in the cabin and in all kinds of branding and marketing.

Qatar Airways Boeing 787-9 in current livery

Us avgeeks usually care about liveries more than the average person. If you ask me, Qatar Airways does an amazing job with its livery — I think Qatar Airways’ current livery is just perfect. I also have to say that I really like the old livery as well, and I feel like it almost looks modern, and look it could work as a standard livery nowadays. To me it’s timeless.

Qatar Airways 25th anniversary Boeing 777

Bottom line

Qatar Airways has painted a Boeing 777 in a special livery to celebrate the carrier’s 25th anniversary. This is the same livery with which the airline launched, and it’s one of the coolest special liveries ever, if you ask me. I can’t wait to see this plane in person one day!

Do you love Qatar Airways’ retro livery as much as I do?

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  1. jallan New Member

    I love the tail on the retro; keep the current two-toned body with the large maroon Qatar, but swap in the retro maroon tail.

  2. Brianair Guest

    I didn’t know Qatar Airways was renaming themselves to Watar Airways! Quite a subtle change. Expected a press release or something discussing this. I suppose it’s because their home base DOH is right next to the water, and “Watar” sounds close enough? I thought they had great name recognition when they just used the country name, as they’ve basically helped put that country on the map. And “W-suites” doesn’t sound as classy. And it’s misleading...

    I didn’t know Qatar Airways was renaming themselves to Watar Airways! Quite a subtle change. Expected a press release or something discussing this. I suppose it’s because their home base DOH is right next to the water, and “Watar” sounds close enough? I thought they had great name recognition when they just used the country name, as they’ve basically helped put that country on the map. And “W-suites” doesn’t sound as classy. And it’s misleading to avgeeks, since the 77W isn’t the only aircraft type that has them.

    Anyhow, I really like this retro livery. I agree that it could even work as a current livery nowadays. Just like Singapore Airlines, it’s a cheatline design with a luxurious and almost timeless quality to it, and I can see their whole fleet looking great in it. When done right, cheatlines can be future-proof. Their current normal livery is excellent enough, though.

  3. SR Guest

    The livery looks great but "gorgeous" may be an overstatement. This was pretty much the standard livery for most airlines few decades ago, but I know everyone has a personal preference. I am really hoping the Tata's can bring back the retro Air India Livery on one of their planes. The 747 in AI retro livery was my favorite!

  4. derek Guest

    I'd say that gorgeous is inappropriate for a plane. It is ok for a person.

  5. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    "WATAR Airways" lol.

    Still prefer the retro Turkish Airlines scheme.

  6. Thom Casa Guest

    Check out the Royal Jordanian (RJ) retro livery; Very Regal

  7. Nelson Guest

    Ben, I just discovered on your second line you use a QWERTY keybord... ;-)

  8. Alec de la Barre Guest

    Although Qatar Airways was originally launched on January 1 st 1994…. I was there with the first CEO, Sheikh Hamad bin Ali bin Jabor Al Thani! This date seems to have been forgotten…

  9. Capt. Muhammad Afridi Guest

    Beautiful, looks so elegant and lively......Great work

  10. Tyopjaug Guest

    So many of their A350s need repainting, why didn't they choose one of those for the retro livery

    1. Tee Jay Guest

      Some of those birds are going to need a little more than fresh paint. From closeups I've seen, they look to be de-laminating.

  11. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    LOVE the Livery! Hope they bring this plane to DFW someday, I love as a OneWorld Emerald flying with Qatar and Doha is such an underrated city!!!

  12. Freida Van Der Westhuizen Guest

    Very helpful pleasant and clean aircraft and staff

  13. TheBestBlackBrent Gold

    Stunning livery!

    1997 is typically seen as the 'real' start date of the airline, when it was relaunched after starting operations in 1994. This livery pre-dates the 25th anniversary, since it is actually from a Boeing 727 in 1996.

  14. EBWaa Guest

    I think Qatar has always done a very good job with branding. Generally I think retro liveries work because of nostalgia rather than being better than modern liveries but this one is gorgeous.

  15. Tom Guest

    Happy 25th Anniversary Qatar Airways, hopefully i can fly with your B777 soon to US

  16. jotlaptop New Member

    Nice retro look, but I still prefer the newer livery, and have appreciated QR's service since I lived in Doha...will be flying back there next month from TLS (via BA, unfortunately) -- hmm, getting your 777 repainted in Toulouse just to spite Airbus? Trust that this will not be a flaky paint job.

  17. Emilie Guest

    Way classier. Before looked like a tube of toothpaste.

  18. Azamaraal Diamond

    Lovely new legacy look. Flying with them in three weeks will be on the lookout.

  19. Tortuga Diamond

    Give me a cheat line any day. Gorgeous.

  20. James Jackman Guest

    I am flying with Qatar Airways in 3 weeks from now, and am hoping that my flight might be on this plane.

    However if its not then I hope to catch a glimpse of it at Doha International Airport as qatar airways is one of my favourite airlines.

    As ive always had good service with them and have only positive memories of the last time I flew with them in 2009.

  21. John Roddy New Member

    Cool, but when they stop using slave labor?

    1. Azamaraal Diamond

      It's easy to call it slave labour but in reality it is not that unusual. I've seen foreign workers all over the world in better or worse conditions - from Singapore to the Middle East to Africa.

      People I have known have worked for 10 years then gone home to purchase a house, a business, and be set up for the rest of their lives. They are not conscripted. They see a better life in their future.

  22. KATA Member

    This is a very tasteful retro livery, very flawlessly executed. I'm glad that QR elected to paint the anniversary celebration titles and year rather small, unlike some livery with huge '70th' decals that takes away the feel. The fact that it is on a 777 just makes it better!

  23. Burt van Wyk Guest

    Go for the very top Qatar. What a classic livery. Bravo and salute!

  24. Fabian New Member

    These retro liveries always bring back good memories :)

  25. RANDY STRIBLING Guest

    That is indeed a beautiful plain. Simple but
    Inspiring in honor of nature and the wonder of such diversification of life. Love the color
    as well. Side by side with New Zealand Airlines both are eye taking in design.

  26. Randy Gold

    For all the airlines, there is just something classic about all the old liveries. Reminds me of the good old days when airlines had great service.

  27. Mark Guest

    25 years of the rebirth and relaunch of Qatar Airways - 1997 April/May

  28. wpcoe Member

    25th anniversary of what? They've been operating for 28 years.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ wpcoe -- That's a good question. I noticed that as well, but Qatar Airways has also been promoting a 25th anniversary sale the past few weeks, so clearly the airline considers it to be the 25th anniversary of something.

    2. Micah Member

      For what it’s worth, Akbar Al Baker came aboard in 1997…would you put it past him to call for a 25 year anniversary for him?

    3. reed Member

      In 1997, AAB was appointed to lead the airline, so that's something. The current airline is a successor to the 1994-1997 operations in name and code only, entirely new corporate staff and legal structure beginning that year.

  29. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    Beautiful, however I'm very partial to the Turkish Airlines retro livery.

    1. KATA Member

      I agree, that A330 is absolutely gorgeous!

  30. JB Guest

    I flew on this exact plane a little over two years ago. Hopefully I will get to fly it again soon!

  31. Abidjan Guest

    Looks great. Wish they adopt this livery again, full-time.

  32. ParisAirShow69 Guest

    Hopefully it’s not jinxed. Airplanes with anniversary liveries, often get into trouble. Non the less, it looks good.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

reed Member

In 1997, AAB was appointed to lead the airline, so that's something. The current airline is a successor to the 1994-1997 operations in name and code only, entirely new corporate staff and legal structure beginning that year.

5
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ wpcoe -- That's a good question. I noticed that as well, but Qatar Airways has also been promoting a 25th anniversary sale the past few weeks, so clearly the airline considers it to be the 25th anniversary of something.

4
Micah Member

For what it’s worth, Akbar Al Baker came aboard in 1997…would you put it past him to call for a 25 year anniversary for him?

1
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