History: British Airways can trace its origins back to the birth of civil aviation, the pioneering days following World War I. The world's first schedule air service took place on 25 August 1919 between London and Paris. The first company Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), a forerunner company of today’s British Airways. That first flight, which took off from Hounslow Heath, close to today’s Heathrow Airport, carried a single passenger and cargo that included newspapers, Devonshire cream, jam and grouse.In 1924 Imperial Airways was created as the government’s “chosen instrument of air travel” by the amalgamation of many other smaller airlines. Imperial began services from London (Croydon) to European destinations as well as pioneering routes to Africa, the Middle East and India.From the 1930's the introduction of luxurious aircraft including the HP42 offered customers new levels of luxury. Imperial Airways opened services from Southampton to Empire destinations using the Short S23 flying boat.
British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), the new state airline, was formed in April 1940 and operated wartime services under the control of the Air Ministry. In 1946, London Airport was opened officially. British European Airways (BEA) and British South American Airways (BSAA) were created to operate commercial services to Europe and South America respectively.The delivery in 1952 of the De Havilland Comet enabled BOAC to operate the world’s first pure jet services. BEA successfully introduced the world-beating Vickers Viscount propeller-turbined aircraft into service on its UK domestic and European routes.
Deliveries of Boeing 707s and Vickers VC-10s to BOAC, and De Havilland Tridents to BEA, provided new commercial opportunities for both airlines. In 1965, at Heathrow, a BEA Trident made the world’s first fully automatic landing carrying commercial passengers.
The arrival in 1971 of the Boeing 747, the first wide-bodied jet, and the advent in 1976 of supersonic flight with Concorde presented contrasting new commercial opportunities and challenges. In 1974 British Airways was created by the merger of BOAC and BEA.In 1988 BA was merged with Gatwick-based British Caledonian Airways.The airline ordered in June 1997 a new fleet of Airbus aircraft for short haul services. The formation was announced in 1999 of a new global alliance – oneworld – which also included Qantas and American.
Concorde retired from service in 2003. Heathrow’s Terminal 5 was opened by the Queen in March 2008 and orders for new Airbus A380s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners were announced. The airline inaugurated the first longhaul route from London City Airport – to New York using A318 aircraft.
In 2010, newly-created International Airlines Group (IAG) is formed and takes over British Airways and Iberia. BA takes delivery of B777-300ER aircraft and retires the last B757s. IAG buys bmi airlines in April 2012 and in August of 2015 Aer Lingus is taken over also.Now British Airways and its parent company IAG form one of the biggest and strongest businesses in Europe.
Operations: the centre for operations are London Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport. However it also has bases in London City Airport and Stansted Airport. A subsidiary of British Airways but flying in the colours of the parent is Comair of South Africa.
From London the carrier reaches every corner of the world, it's a world wide airline and can fly nonstop to cities around the globe with more presence in Europe, Asia and USA.In Europe it flies to over 105 destinations.In USA the airline flies to: New York, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Denver, Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle. In Canada is flies to Vancouver, Calgarty, Montreal and Toronto.In Africa is flies to Algiers, Marrakech, Cairo, Abuja, Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, Luanda, Harare, Mauritius, Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Windhoek, Johanesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.In Asia it flies to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Male, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo (NRT and HND).In Australia it flies only to Sydney.In the Middle East is flies to: Tel Aviv, Beirut, amman, Tehran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dubai, Abu Fhabi and Muscat.In the Americas it flies to: Bermuda, Nassau, Cancun, Mexico City, Grand Cayman, Kingston, Punta Cana, St. Kittis, Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, Grenada, Tobago, Port of Spain, Providenciales, San Jose, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Sau Paulo, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile.
Fleet: Perhaps one of the largest fleets in Europe with close to 300 Aircraft from Boeing and Airbus dominate at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports. Except from E-jets E-170 and E-190 which are based at London City and London Stansted Airports.Fleet include aircraft from Airbus A319, A320, A321 and A380, as well as Boeing long haul products, Boeing 767, 777 and 747-400. As well British Airways operates a franchise in France with Boeing 757 with only Business class seats.
|Excellent customer service, both before the flight, crew and after flight care service.||Long haul flights only offer one piece of checked baggage allowance at 23kg max.|
|Comfortable airline cabins, leg room, reclining seats, lighting etc||As from 2017, flights under 4 hours will be charged for food and drink on board.|
|Posibility to check in online 24hours before and select your seat for free. Exits available for free on short and medium haul flights.||On long haul flights, very basic pillow and headphones are provided. (Economy).|
|Most flights include free checked baggage allowance 1 item at 23kg.||Some Boeing 777-200/B767 planes have small entertainment screens and no charging options. (due to be updated).|
|Hand luggage weight is not checked as long as it fits the size restriction. (max 23kg)|
|Complimentary drinks and meals on board. (Food to be sold as from 2017 on flight less than 4 hours)|
|Good connections and timings between flights. Effective baggage transfer.|
|Member of OneWorld Alliance, a good customer loyalty programme, to earn points and redeem for flights or upgrades.|