British Airways is United Kingdom's largest international scheduled airline in terms of the fleet size, number of international destinations covered and international flights. It is also the second largest airline in Europe (next to Air France-KLM), with more flights from Europe across the Atlantic than any other operator. The prime hubs of the airline are London Heathrow and London Gatwick. The British Airways group consists of British Airways Plc and a number of subsidiary companies, including British Airways Holidays Limited and British Airways Travel Shops Limited. Explore the following lines to get information on the history and profile of British Airways.
The origin of British Airways runs parallel to the history of civil aviation industry in the world. On August 25, 1919, British Airways forerunner company - Aircraft Transport and Travel (AT&T) - launched the world's first daily international scheduled air service, between London and Paris. On March 31, 1924, Britain's four airlines - Instone, Handley Page Transport, Daimler Airways and British Air Marine Navigation - merged to form Imperial Airways Limited. Around this time, a number of smaller UK air transport companies had started their operations. These merged in 1935, to form the original privately-owned British Airways Ltd.
In November 1939, British Government nationalized Imperial Airways and British Airways, to give rise to the inception of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). After Second World War, BOAC continued to operate long-haul services, while continental European and domestic flights were flown by a new airline, British European Airways Corporation (BEA). In 1972, BOAC and BEA were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board. Subsequently, the separate airlines were merged to form British Airways, in 1974.
With a view to convert British Airways into a private profit making airline, Sir John King (late Lord King) assumed the position of its chairperson, in 1981. He appointed Colin Marshall as the CEO of the airline. The strenuous efforts of the King and the CEO made the giant loss making airline into one of the most profitable air carriers in the world. Subsequently, the airline claimed itself as 'The World's Favorite Airline', at the time when other large airlines struggled to establish their position in the civil aviation industry. The airline's image was changed under the guidance of the King. This led to the privatization of British Airways, in 1987.
Fleet And Destination
British Airways has a modern fleet with an average age of 9.7 years. Its fleet consists of as many as 228 aircrafts, which includes Airbus A319, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A321-200, Boeing 737-400, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 757-200, Boeing 767-300ER, Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-200ER. Presently, British Airways, flies to 6 domestic destinations and 143 international destinations in 69 countries, in six continents across the world. In India, British Airways flies to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.