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British Airways History

Posted on: 15/12/2012

British Airways History

British Airways can trace its origins back to the birth of civil aviation, the pioneering days following World War I. In the 93 years that have passed since the world’s first schedule air service on 25 August 1919, air travel has changed beyond all recognition. Each decade saw new developments and challenges, which shaped the path for the future, Take a look at the different eras of air travel, to see how British Airways became the airline it is today.

1919 British airways

On 25 August 1919, British Airways’ forerunner company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris. By 1925, Imperial Airways was providing services to Paris, Brussels, Basle, Cologne and Zurich.

Imperial Airways and British Airways were nationalized in 1939 to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Post-war, BOAC continued to operate long haul services in the mid of 1940s.

Bannerimage1940-49 british airways

The 1950s saw the world enter the passenger jet era, halving the previous flight time. Following the formation of the Air Transport Licensing Board in 1960, other British airlines began to operate competing scheduled services.

British Airways 1960s

British Caledonian was born in 1970, when the original Caledonian Airways took over British United Airways. Two years later, the businesses of  BOAC and British European Airways (BEA) were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974.

British Airways 1980s

Lord King was appointed Chairman in 1981 and charged by the Secretary of State for Trade to take all necessary steps to restore the company to profitability and prepare it for privatization.

Concorde in British Airways

In 1990s, the airline unveiled its new corporate identity featuring aircraft livery taken from images from around theworld. In the second millennium, British Airways’ fleet of seven Concordes was dispersed for preservation to different worldwide locations. At the same period, Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge retired as Chairman of British Airways, and was replaced by Martin Broughton.



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