|Founded||31 March 1974|
(after BOAC & BEA merger)
|Fleet size||233 (+42 orders) excl.subsidiaries|
|Destinations||370 incl.subsidiaries and code-shares|
|Company slogan||Upgrade to British Airways|
|Parent company||International Airlines Group|
|Headquarters||Waterside, Harmondsworth,London Borough of Hillingdon, England|
|Key people||Willie Walsh (CEO)|
Martin Broughton (Chairman)
The British Airways Board was established in 1971 to control the two nationalised airline corporations, BOAC and BEA, and two much smaller regional airlines, Cambrian Airways from Cardiff and Northeast Airlines from Newcastle upon Tyne. On 31 March 1974 all four companies were dissolved to form British Airways (BA). After almost 13 years as a nationalised company, British Airways was privatised in February 1987 as part of the privatisation plan by the Conservative Government of the time. The carrier soon expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian (BCAL) in 1987 and Gatwick-based carrier Dan-Air in 1992.
Despite being a longtime Boeing customer, British Airways placed a major order for Airbus aircraft in August 1998 with the purchase of 59 Airbus A320 family aircraft. In 2007, the carrier placed its next major order, marking the start of its long-haul fleet replacement, ordering 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Boeing 787s. The centrepiece of the airline's long-haul fleet is the Boeing 747-400; with 57 examples in service, British Airways is the largest operator of the type in the world.
British Airways is a founding member of the oneworld airline alliance along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and, the now defunct, Canadian Airlines; the alliance has since grown to become the third largest airline alliance after SkyTeam and Star Alliance. BA is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
On 12 November 2009, British Airways confirmed that it had reached a preliminary agreement to merge with Iberia. The merger between the two carriers will create the world's third-largest airline in terms of annual revenue and the second largest airline group in Europe. The merger was confirmed on 8 April 2010, and it is expected to be completed by the end of the year. On 14 July 2010, the European Commission gave the two carriers permission to merge and also agreed to allow American Airlines to co-operate with the merged entity on transatlantic routes to the United States of America.
Main article: History of British Airways
|British Airways Concorde at London Heathrow Airport|
In 1967 the government established a committee of inquiry into Civil Aviation under Sir Ronald Edwards. The Edwards Committee reported in 1969 with one of the recommendations being the formation of a National Air Holding Board to control finances and polices of the two government-controlled airlines, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways Corporation (BEA). The recommendation was enacted in 1971 with the passing of the Civil Aviation Act 1971 which formed a British Airways Board to control all the activities of the two airlines.
British Airways (BA) was created in 1974, when BOAC and BEA managements were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board. Following two years of fierce competition with British Caledonian, the second-largest airline in Britain at the time, the Government changed its aviation policy in 1976 so the carriers were no longer permitted to compete on long-haul routes.
British Airways was one of only two airlines, the other being Air France, to operate the supersonic airliner Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde, inaugurating the world's first supersonic passenger service in January 1976 from London Heathrow to Bahrain. Services to the eastern seaboard of the US, which Concorde had been designed for, were inaugurated with a service to Washington Dulles airport on 24 May 1976 and with flights to New York JFK airport starting on 22 September 1977. This was followed by a service to Singapore in cooperation with Singapore Airlines as a continuation of the flight to Bahrain. Concorde operations soon expanded with charter services inaugurated in 1982 and a service to Miami (served as a continuation of the Washington flight) beginning in March 1984. Following the Air France Concorde crash in Paris and the slump in demand for air travel after the 11 September Attacks in New York, the announement was made on 23 April 2003, that both Air France and British Airways would cease Concorde operations by the end of October 2003, after 27 years of service. The final commercial Concorde flight flew as BA002 from New York JFK to London Heathrow on 24 October 2003.
In 1981, the airline was instructed to prepare for privatisation by the Conservative government leading to the appointment of Sir John King, later Lord King, as Chairman with the goal of bringing the airline back into profitability. King was credited with transforming the loss-making giant into one of the most profitable air carriers in the world, while many other large airlines struggled.The flag carrier was privatised and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in February 1987 by the Conservative government. In July 1987, British Airways effected the controversial takeover of Britain's "second" airline, British Caledonian.
In 1992, British Airways expanded through the acquisition of financially troubled Gatwick-based carrier Dan-Air, giving BA a much larger presence at Gatwick airport. In March 1993, the rapid expansion continued with the formation of British Asia Airways, a subsidiary based in the Taiwan, to operate between London and Taipei. Throughout 1993, British Airways expanded through the purchase of a 25% stake in Australian airline Qantas in March, and the acquisition Brymon Airways in May to form BA Connect.
The formation of Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 began a tense relationship with BA. In 1993, the intense rivalry between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic culminated with British Airways being sued £610,000 for a "dirty tricks" campaign against Virgin and around £3 million in Virgin's legal costs. British Airways' campaign against Virgin included poaching Virgin Atlantic customers and tampering with private files belonging to Virgin. Following a court case, British Airways was forced to pay Virgin damages and legal costs causing BA management to apologise "unreservedly" for the alleged "dirty tricks" campaign.
Six months after the "dirty tricks" campaign, Lord King stepped down as chairman in 1993 and was replaced by former deputy, Colin Marshall, while Robert Ayling took over as CEO. Benefits under his management included cost savings of £750m and the establishment of Go in 1998. However, one year on, in 1999, British Airways reported an 84 percent drop in profits, its worst for seven years. In March 2000, Robert Ayling was removed from his position and British Airways announced Rod Eddington as his successor. Eddington set about cutting the workforce further, in response to the slump caused by 11 September attacks in 2001. On 8 September 2004, British Airways announced that it was to sell its 18.5 percent stake in Qantas.
In September 1998, British Airways, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qantas and the now defunct Canadian Airlines, agreed to form the oneworld airline alliance in order to better compete with the growing Star Alliance members. oneworld began operations on 1 February 1999 and has since grown to include 11 carriers with 2 pending and has become one of the largest airline alliances in the world, behind only SkyTeam and Star Alliance
In September 2005, new CEO Willie Walsh, former Aer Lingus pilot and then boss, took charge of the company.
In January 2008, BA unveiled its new subsidiary OpenSkies which takes advantage of the liberalisation of transatlantic traffic rights between Europe and the United States. OpenSkies flies non-stop from Paris to New York and Washington D.C.
In July 2010, British Airways received permission from the European regulators of aviation, the European Commission, to merge with Spanish carrier, Iberia, and to co-ordinate with American Airlines on fares and scheduling for transatlantic routes. On 20 July 2010, the US Department of Transport approved the deal with American Airlines, finalising their tentative decision made on 13 February 2010. The deal is set to become operational by the end of 2010 and is expected to save British Airways £560 million every year once all the cost-overlaps between the companies have been eliminated.
On 4 October 2010, British Airways unveiled one of its last Boeing 757s (G-CPET) in a 'retro' livery, to celebrate the retirement of the 757 fleet after 27 years. The aircraft, named 'Stokesay Castle' is wearing an identical livery to that worn by the 757s during their introduction to service, as joint launch customer, in February 1983. The 757s were retired on 30 October 2010.
Merger with Iberia
|British Airways and Iberia announced their merger in April 2010, creating|
the International Airlines Group, one of the world's largest airlines.
On 30 July 2008, British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, a fellow oneworld partner, announced a merger plan that would result in the two airlines joining forces in an all-stock transaction while retaining their separate brands, similar to KLM and Air France in their merger agreement. On 12 November 2009, British Airways confirmed that it had reached a preliminary agreement to merge with Iberia. The merger between British Airways and Iberia will create the world's third-largest airline in terms of annual revenue and the second largest airline group in Europe. The agreement was confirmed on 8 April 2010, and was expected to be completed by the end of 2010. On October 6, 2010, the alliance between British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia formally began operations for the first time.
British Airways currently owns a 13.5% stake in Iberia but will receive ownership of 55% of the new combined group, which will be known as “International Airlines Group”, with Iberia's shareholders receiving the remaining 45% of the company. The merged entity will operate 419 aircraft, carry over 62 million passengers annually and serve more than 200 destinations. It is expected that the merger will create 400 million euros of savings every year for the carriers. The operational headquarters will be in London but the corporate headquarters will be in Madrid. Board meetings will take place in Madrid since the company is being incorporated according to Spanish law as an "anonymous society" (Sociedad Anónima), and the holding company for both carriers will pay taxes in Spain.
On 14 July 2010, the European Commission, granted both airlines permission to merge as well as permission to include American Airlines in co-operation on ticket prices and schedules on transatlantic routes for all three airlines.On 20 July 2010, the US Department of Transport approved the deal with American Airlines, finalising their tentative decision made on 13 February 2010. The deal is expected to become operational by the end of 2010. The alliance with American Airlines is expected to deliver a £230 million cost-saving for British Airways on top of the £330 million expected to be saved by the merger with Iberia each year.
In September 2010, Willie Walsh, the CEO of IAG, announced in Mumbai that the newly merged group would look to acquire other airlines, particularly those in emerging markets. He also stated that a shortlist of 12 possible carriers that would potentially be included in the new group has been created. These airlines are widely expected to include LAN Chile, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qantas, Aer Lingus, Finnair, Kingfisher Airlines and Japan Airlines among others.
Both carriers are expected to complete their merger in January 2011. Shareholders from British Airways and Iberia approved the merger on November 29, 2010, allowing the creation of the world's third largest airline by revenue.
British Airways is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
|A British Airways Boeing 747-400 in a special Oneworld livery at London Heathrow Airport, England.|
British Airways Financial Performance
Year Ended Passengers Flown Turnover (£m) Profit/Loss Before Tax (£m) Net Profit/Loss (£m) Basic EPS (p)
31 March 2010 31,825,000 7,994 (531) (425) (38.5)
31 March 2009 33,117,000 8,992 (401) (358) (32.6)
31 March 2008 34,613,000 8,753 883 696 59.0
31 March 2007 33,068,000 8,492 611 438 25.5
31 March 2006* 32,432,000 8,213 616 464 40.4
31 March 2006 35,634,000 8,515 620 467 40.4
31 March 2005 35,717,000 7,772 513 392 35.2
31 March 2004 36,103,000 7,560 230 130 12.1
31 March 2003 38,019,000 7,688 135 72 6.7
31 March 2002 40,004,000 8,340 (200) (142) (13.2)
31 March 2001 36,221,000 9,278 150 114 10.5
31 March 2000 36,346,000 8,940 5 (21) (2.0)
31 March 1999 37,090,000 8,915 225 206 19.5
31 March 1998 34,377,000 8,642 580 460 44.7
31 March 1997 33,440,000 8,359 640 553 55.7
31 March 1996 32,272,000 7,760 585 473 49.4
* Restated for the disposal of the regional business of BA Connect.
British Airways holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, and is permitted to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.
British Airways is the largest airline based in the United Kingdon in terms of fleet size, international flights and international destinations and was, until 2008, the largest airline based in the UK in terms of passenger numbers as well. The airline carried 34.6 million passengers in 2008 but rival UK low-cost carrier easyJet carried 44.5 million passengers in the same year, taking the title from British Airways for the first time.
British Airways' main base is at London Heathrow Airport in west London, England but it also has a major presence at Gatwick Airport and at one time operated a significant hub at Manchester Airport. However, hub operations at Manchester, and international services from outside London, ceased after the airline sold their subsidiary, BA Connect, citing lack of profitability. Passengers wishing to travel internationally with BA either to or from regional UK destinations must now transfer in London.Heathrow airport in particular is dominated by British Airways, due to their ownership of 40% of the slots available at the airport.
On 27 March 2008, British Airways moved almost half of their Heathrow operating staff, equipment, and aircraft to the new Terminal 5. The vast majority of British Airways services to and from Heathrow currently operate from Terminal 5, with the exception of some service flights which will operate out of Terminal 3. T3 British Airways operations include long-haul codeshare flights and European flights.
In August 2007, British Airways agreed to plead guilty and pay a $300 million fine as a result of felony antitrust charges in the United States for conspiring to fix air cargo prices.
In November 2010, British Airways was fined €104 million by the European Commission following an investigation into price-fixing.
Subsidiaries, franchisees and shareholdings
British Airways World Cargo
BAMC and British Airways Engineering
BA CityFlyer is a subsidiary with Embraer aircraft based at London City Airport. In December 2008 CityFlyer signed a contract with Embraer to modernise the current fleet with an order for 11 E-Jet aircraft which are replacing the existing Avro RJ aircraft. BA CityFlyer operates around 250 flights per week from London City Airport.
British Airways previously was the full owner of Airways Aero Associations Limited, which operates the British Airways flying club and runs its own aerodrome under the British Airways brand at Wycombe Air Park, High Wycombe.
With the creation of an Open Skies agreement between Europe and the United States in March 2008, British Airways started a new subsidiary airline called OpenSkies (previously known as "Project Lauren"). The airline started operations in June 2008, and now flies direct from Paris to New York JFK and Washington Dulles.
The former BEA Helicopters was renamed British Airways Helicopters in 1974 and operated passenger and offshore oil support services until it was sold in 1986.
Comair, based in South Africa, franchisee since 1996.
Sun Air of Scandinavia, based in Denmark, franchisee since 1 August 1996.
British Airways currently owns a 13.5% stake in Spanish airline Iberia.
British Airways obtained a 15% stake in UK regional airline Flybe, through the sale of BA Connect in March 2007.
BA also owns a 10% stake in InterCapital and Regional Rail (ICRR), the company that manages operations of Eurostar (U.K.) Ltd..
British Airways World Cargo
BA is, through its subsidiary British Airways World Cargo, the world's twelfth-largest cargo airline based on total freight tonne-kilometres flown. BA World Cargo has global freight opportunities through the British Airways flight routes. In addition to the main fleet, BA World Cargo wet lease three Boeing 747-400F aircraft from Global Supply Systems on a multi-year basis, as well as utilising space on dedicated freighters operated by other carriers. Dedicated freighter services gives British Airways World Cargo the opportunity to service destinations that are not available on their passenger route network. In 2010 it was announced that BAWC would wet lease three Boeing 747-8F aircraft from Global Supply Systems to replace the 747-400's. The replacement aircraft will be painted in full British Airways Livery.
British Airways opened a World Cargo centre at Heathrow in the late 1990s. As an advanced automated freight handling centre, it can handle unusual and premium cargo, and fresh produce, of which it handles over 80,000 tons per year. BA World Cargo also handles freight at London's Gatwick and Stansted airports, and, through its partner British Airways Regional Cargo, at all of the main regional airports throughout the UK.
Staff working for British Airways are represented by a number of trade unions, which include:
BALPA, who represent pilots
BASSA, who represent some of the cabin crew
Unite the Union for other employees
British Airways, under Bob Ayling's management, faced strike action by cabin crew over the £1 billion cost-cutting drive that was made to return the carrier to profitability in 1997. This was the last time cabin crew at BA went on strike until 2009. Following these strikes, and the cost-cutting programme implemented by Ayling, staff morale never recovered leading to unrest within the company ever since.
In 2005, wildcat action was taken by union members over the decision by Gate Gourmet to lock out 670 workers and replace them with agency staff after a contract with British Airways was not renewed. It is estimated that the strike cost British Airways £30 million and caused disruption to 100,000 passengers.
In October 2006, a dispute over the right of a Christian check-in worker to wear a visible symbol of faith occurred.The employee lost an employment tribunal in January 2008.
In 2007, cabin crew threatened strike action over salary changes to be imposed by the British Airways Board. The strike was then confirmed but called off just before the start of the action, leading to British Airways losing £80 million.
Relations have been turbulent between BA and Unite, particularly in 2009 and 2010 with regard to proposed changes to working conditions for cabin crew in response to the global financial crisis. A strike ballot was held in December 2009 over changes to working practices which received overwhelming support for planned action over Christmas 2009.This industrial action was blocked by a court injunction deeming the ballot illegal. A re-ballot was held in February. Ongoing negotiations failed to stop strike action in March, and the company withdrew travel perks for those participating in the action. Allegations made in the Guardian newspaper that BA had sought consultancy on how to undermine the unions operating in BA were withdrawn.
A further strike was announced for May 2010 and British Airways again sought an injunction on a technicality which was initially granted, but overturned on appeal during the first aborted planned action. The attempts to avert strike action were delayed after members of the Socialist Workers Party broke up the negotiations between BA leadership and Unite the Union. Negotiations were further strained when Unite co-leader Derek Simpson was found to be using his Blackberry to update his Twitter account with progress of the confidential negotiations under the chairmanship of conciliation service Acas.
British Airways destinations and British Airways franchise destinations
British Airways serves nearly 150 destinations, including six domestic. It is one of only nine carriers to fly to all six permanently inhabited continents (the eight other carriers are Delta, Emirates, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, South African Airways and United Airlines).
Other than codesharing with fellow oneworld alliance members, and franchisees, British Airways has codeshare agreements with:
With the exception of the Boeing 707 and early Boeing 747 variants from BOAC, the airline as formed in 1972-4 inherited a mainly UK-built fleet of aircraft. The airline introduced the Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 into the fleet in the 1980s, followed by the Boeing 747-400, Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 in the 1990s.
Boeing-built aircraft for British Airways are allocated the customer code 36, which appears in their aircraft designation as a suffix, such as 737-436, 747-436 and 777-236.
Although British Airways utilises a large Boeing fleet, it has always operated aircraft from other manufacturers. British built aircraft were transferred from BEA (e.g. Trident) and BOAC (e.g. VC10), and in the 1980s the airline purchased the Lockheed L-1011. It also operated the DC-10 and Airbus A320-100 through the acquisition of British Caledonian Airways in the 1980s. In August 1998, British Airways placed its first direct Airbus order, for 59 A320/A319s, to replace its own aging fleet of Boeing 737s and A320-100s. British Airways replaced the L-1011 and DC-10 tri-jet fleet with more fuel-efficient, twinjet, Boeing 767 and 777 aircraft in the 1990s. In September 2007, BA placed its first order for long-haul Airbus jets, consisting of 12 firm orders for Airbus A380s and seven options. BA's Boeing 757s have now been withdrawn from service and are awaiting disposal.
In September 2010, the average age of the BA fleet was 11.7 years.
The majority (77%) of the British Airways fleet is either powered by Rolls-Royce or IAE alliance engines, of which Rolls-Royce is a major contributor. The remaining 23% of the fleet is equally divided between General Electric and the CFM International consortium:
The RB211-524 power all the Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 767s.
The Trent 800 powers 19 of the Boeing 777s.
International Aero Engines (IAE)
All the Airbus A319s and Airbus A321s are powered by variants of the V2500 as well as 37 of the Airbus A320s.
The General Electric GE90 powers 27 of the Boeing 777-200/-200ERs and all of the Boeing 777-300ERs.
Different variants of the CFM International CFM56 power both Airbus A318 aircraft, all the Boeing 737s, and four of the Airbus A320s.
Recent aircraft orders
British Airways has 32 outstanding options with Airbus, which may be taken as any member of the A320 family. Secured delivery positions on 10 Boeing 777 aircraft are held.
On 27 March 2007, British Airways placed a firm order for four 777-200ER aircraft with an option for four more, with the order totalling more than US$800 million at list price. The company has stated that these are for fleet expansion. BA's first 777s were fitted with General Electric GE90 engines, but BA switched to Rolls-Royce Trent 800s for the most recent 19 aircraft. This engine choice has been continued with the most recent four orders as Trent 800 engines were selected as the powerplant for the new aircraft.
|British Airways has placed firm orders for 24 Boeing 787s, which |
will replace the oldest Boeing 767s in the fleet from 2012.
On 27 September 2007, BA announced their biggest order since 1998 by ordering 36 new long-haul aircraft. The company ordered 12 A380s with options on a further seven, and 24 Boeing 787s with 18 options for delivery between 2012 and 2016. Rolls-Royce Trent engines were selected for both orders with Trent 900s powering the A380s and Trent 1000s powering the 787s. The Boeing 787s will replace 14 of British Airways' Boeing 767 fleet while the Airbus A380s will replace 20 of BA's oldest Boeing 747-400s and will most likely be used to increase capacity on key routes from London Heathrow, such as Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
|The Airbus A380 is due to enter service with British Airways in 2013.|
On 1 February 2008, it was announced that British Airways had ordered two Airbus A318s to operate a premium service between London City Airport and New York JFK. The two A318s used for the service are fitted out with 32 lie-flat beds in an all business class cabin. The service, operating under the flight numbers previously reserved for Concorde, BA001 and BA003, began in September 2009. Runway length limitations at London City Airport prevent a fully fuelled A318 from departing, necessitating a westbound fuel-stop at Shannon Airport in Ireland, were passengers also use Shannon’s US Customs & Border pre clearance facilities allowing passengers to arrive at JFK as a domestic passenger.
On 1 August 2008, BA announced orders for six Boeing 777-300ERs and options for four more as an interim measure to cover for delays over the deliveries of their 787-8/9s. Of the 6 that have been ordered, 4 will be leased & 2 will be fully acquired by British Airways. On 12 January 2009 CEO Willie Walsh stated that BA's purchase of six Boeing 777-300ERs did not indicate that they had ruled out purchasing the Airbus A350 for their fleet renewal programme and "that the airline expects to reach a decision towards the end of the year."
Further information: British Airways face advertisement
The musical theme predominantly used on British Airways advertising is "The Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes. This, and the slogan "The World's Favourite Airline" were introduced in 1989 with the launch of the iconic "Face" advertisement. The slogan was dropped in 2001, after having been overtaken by Lufthansa in terms of passenger numbers. However, "Flower Duet" is still used by the airline, and has been through several different arrangements since 1989. The recent version of this melody was shown in 2007, with a new slogan, "Upgrade to British Airways".
The advertising agency used for 23 years by BA was Saatchi & Saatchi, who created many of the most famous advertisements for the airline including the influential "Face" commercial. However, following the termination of its relationship with BA, Saatchi & Saatchi made an imitation of this commercial for rival airline Silverjet in 2007. As of February 2007, BA's advertising agency is Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
Prior to "The World's Favourite Airline", advertising slogans included:
"The World's Best Airline".
"We'll Take More Care Of You".
"Fly the Flag".
Online, the value of the British Airways Brand was pushed in 2002 as the company was given an opportunity to buy its acronym, and its IATA Airline code the letters "BA" as their internet domain ba.com. The domain was previously owned by Bell Atlantic.
British Airways is the official airline of the Wimbledon Championship tennis tournament, and the official airline and tier 1 partner of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.British Airways is also the official airline of England's bid to host the 2018 Football World Cup.
|British Airways Boeing 747-436, G-BNLM, with one of the airline's well-known and distincitve tail designs.|
Further information: British Airways ethnic liveries
Since its formation in 1974, though to a limited extent until all aircraft were repainted, British Airways' aeroplanes carried a Union Flag scheme painted on their tail fins. The original predominantly red tail scheme was changed with the launch of a new livery designed by the New York design agency, Landor Associates. The new tail was predominantly dark blue and carried the British Airways Coat of Arms. On 10 June 1997 there was a highly controversial change from the use of the British colours to ethnic logos and abstract world images, such as Delftware or Chinese calligraphy for example. All the designs related to countries on the company's network of routes. This caused problems with air traffic control: whereas previously controllers had been able to tell pilots to follow a BA plane, they were now harder to visually identify because each plane was painted in a range of different colours and colour schemes.
Several people spoke out against the change from the traditional Union Flag Scheme, including the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who covered the tail of a model BA plane with a white hankerchief captured by BBC News cameras. BA's traditional rival, Virgin Atlantic, quickly adopted the British flag along with the slogan "Britain's national flagcarrier". On 6 June 1999, BA CEO Bob Ayling announced that all BA planes would be repainted with the Union Flag, based on a design first used on Concorde.
UK Domestic is British Airways' economy class offering on domestic UK flights. The seat pitch is 31" on all aircraft and the aircraft are in a one-class configuration. Food on these services depends on the destination and time of day. On Domestic services within England before 10am, a hot breakfast baguette is served, while a hot breakfast tray is served on Scottish services. After 10am there is a drinks service with a light snack on all services.
Business UK operates in exactly the same cabin as UK Domestic but with a fully flexible ticket and pre-flight lounge access.
Euro Traveller is British Airways' economy class offering on flights from the UK to the rest of Europe. Seat pitch is 31", except on Airbus A321 aircraft where it is 30". Food on board depends on the destination "band" (e.g. Band 1 to Paris, Band 2 to Frankfurt, Band 3 to Rome, Band 4 to Athens). Band 1 and 2 receive a bar service with a choice of sweet or salty snacks, Band 3 receive a filled sub roll and Band 4 flights are served with hot meals. On all flights before 10AM, a cold breakfast roll and a drinks service is offered. In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) is offered on Band 4 flights on all 767-300ER aircraft and on some A320 flights where an IFE system is fitted.
Club Europe is the short-haul business class product offered by British Airways on all short-haul flights (except within the UK). Passengers have access to business lounges at most airports and are also served a full English breakfast in the mornings or 'extended breakfast' on later flights (ham, salami etc.) and afternoon tea later in the day. Club Europe seat pitch is 31", the same as in Euro Traveller on most aircraft. Club Europe used to offer the same number of seats across as Euro Traveller, but with the middle seats kept free. Since 2 September 2009, Club Europe has seats in a 2-3 configuration on narrow-body aircraft; this change is being implemented progressively across the fleet. The remaining middle seat in the new configuration is also being kept free. Club Europe was originally launched on 5 January 1988, along with Club World, British Airways' long-haul business class cabin.
First (rebranded from 'FIRST' in 2009) is the long-haul first class service on British Airways and is offered only on Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 aircraft. There are 14 private "demi-cabins" per aircraft, each with a 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) bed, a 15 inch wide in-flight entertainment screen, in-seat power for laptops and personal phones. Menus are upgraded from Club World, British Airways' long-haul business class product, and offer greater choice and quality. Some airports boast dedicated First check-in desks but in airports without a dedicated First check-in, passengers use Club World check-in.
In 2009, British Airways announced that the first major upgrade to the cabin since 1996 was to be inaugurated by January 2010, with a minor refresh taking place immediately. As part of this upgrade program, British Airways has introduced a private concierge service provided by Quintessentially exclusively for First passengers. The new cabin was originally meant to have been launched on the London - New York Route, but due to the US East Coast Snowstorm the new cabin was launched on 10 February 2010, on the London-Chicago Route.
The majority of the longhaul fleet based at Gatwick Airport do not feature First as they fly predominantly to high capacity family holiday destinations - instead they carry a 3 class configuration of Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.
Club World is the long-haul business class product on British Airways 767, 777 and 747 aircraft. Passengers have access to departure lounges at most airports and an exclusive arrivals lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5. On 13 November 2006, British Airways launched a new Club World service, termed Next Generation New Club World, offering larger seats and a service revamp. The Club World cabin provides a 20 in (51 cm) wide, 6 ft (1.8 m) long fully flat bed (6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) long in Next Generation New Club World cabins when in Z-bed position, which is not fully flat). There are 24 old generation Club World seats fitted on Boeing 767-300ER aircraft but these aircraft will be replaced by the Boeing 787 which will feature the Next-Generation Club World cabin from 2012 onwards. There are 48 Next-Generation Club World seats on all of British Airways' Boeing 777s and since 2007 there are either 52 or 70 Next-Generation seats on Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Club World was originally launched on 5 January 1988, along with British Airways' short-haul business class product, Club Europe.
World Traveller Plus is the premium economy offering provided by British Airways on all long-haul aircraft. World Traveller Plus features a 38 inch seat pitch, 7 inches more than World Traveller (British Airways' long-haul economy class). It also provides fewer seats per row, two armrests per seat, an adjustable headrest, lumbar support, additional recline and in-seat laptop power. World Traveller Plus is situated in a separate cabin from World Traveller and in a quieter location of the aircraft. A new World Traveller Plus Cabin was revealed on 28 August 2010 along with a new Thales Entertainment System. This cabin is currently available on the 777-300ER & will be rolled out across the entire longhaul fleet within the next 2 years. World Traveller Plus was originaly launched in 2000.
World Traveller is the long-haul economy class offered on international flights by British Airways to destinations outside Europe. World Traveller offers a 31" seat pitch, lumbar support and fully adjustable headrests, seat-back entertainment systems, a free bar-service and complimentary three-course meals. World Traveller product was launched in 1991 and last updated in 1998. A new World Traveller Cabin was unveiled on 28 August 2010 along with a new Thales In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) System. This cabin is currently available on the 777-300ER & will be rolled out across the entire longhaul fleet within the next 2 years.
Special cabin configuration
In 2001, British Airways became the first carrier to introduce a ten-abreast economy class configuration on the Boeing 777, an aircraft which is designed for nine-abreast seating. This utilised specially built narrow seats and aisles, and was applied to three GE-engined 777-200ERs used predominantly on Caribbean routes, but sometimes flown to and from Florida. After British Airways piloted this development, the configuration has been emulated by Emirates, Air France, KLM and China Southern Airlines among others. British Airways has since removed this unpopular arrangement, returning to standard nine-abreast seating.
Main article: Airline sex discrimination policy controversy
In March 2001, it was revealed that British Airways has a policy of not seating adult male passengers next to children who are sitting by themselves, even if a child's parents are elsewhere on the plane. This led to accusations of sex discrimination, with the company eventually admitting the offence in 2010 during a case brought by Mirko Fischer. The policy was dropped in August 2010 with the airline instead seating unaccompanied minors in a nondiscrminatory manner near the cabin crew.
British Airways operates several different types of lounge for passengers travelling in the premium cabins and passengers with Silver or Gold status in the Executive Club; British Airways' main loyalty programme.
Club World and Club Europe passengers, British Airways' business classes, as well as Silver Executive Club card holders are entitled to use the 70 dedicated British Airways Terraces or Executive Club lounges. Both these lounges are being replaced by Galleries Club lounges.
First passengers, as well as Gold Executive Club card holders, are entitled to use the 60 dedicated British Airways First lounges. The Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK Terminal 7 are only accessible to First travellers. First lounges are currently being replaced by Galleries First lounges, an upgraded version of the First lounge.
At airports in which BA does not operate a departure lounge, a third party departure lounge is usually provided for premium/status passengers. A third party arrivals lounge is provided at Gatwick Airport within the Sofitel hotel.
British Airways operates two loyalty, or frequent-flyer, schemes; the Executive Club is the primary programme and the other, highly exclusive, programme is known simply as Premier.
The Executive Club is part of the network of frequent flyer programmes in the oneworld alliance and is split into three tiers of membership: Blue, Silver and Gold. The benefits of the Silver and Gold cards include access to airport lounges and dedicated reservation lines. Unlike most airlines' frequent flyer programmes, the Executive Club keeps separate account of the redeemable BA Miles and the loyalty Tier Points. Flying in higher Classes of Service, i.e. Premium Economy, Business or First, will earn extra BA Miles and Tier Points. As of August 2009, Tier Points can be earned on any flight, including discounted economy fares.
BA Miles Calculator
Class of Travel BA Miles per mile flown for Blue Tier Members BA Miles per mile flown for Silver/Gold Tier Members
Discounted or Flexible Economy Class 1 2
World Traveller Plus 1.25 2.5
Club Europe/Club World 1.5 3
First 2 4
Redeemable miles expire after 36 months of inactivity.
BA operates an invitation-only Premier programme which gives more benefits than the Executive Club Gold Card scheme including an increased number of BA miles per flight and access to the Concorde Lounge regardless of travel class. It is given only by the BA board and has 1,200 members.
Incidents and accidents
In November 1974, British Airways Flight 870 from Dubai to Heathrow, operated by a Vickers VC10, was hijacked in Dubai, landing at Tripoli for refuelling before flying on to Tunis. One hostage was murdered before the hijackers eventually surrendered after 84 hours. Captain Jim Futcher was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal, the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators Founders Medal, the British Air Line Pilots Association Gold Medal and a Certificate of Commendation from British Airways for his actions during the hijacking, having returned to the aircraft to fly it knowing the hijackers were on board.
On 10 September 1976, a Trident 3B on British Airways Flight 476, flying from London Heathrow to Istanbul collided in mid-air with an Inex Adria DC9-32 near Zagreb, Croatia, resulting in the 1976 Zagreb mid-air collision. All 54 passengers and 9 crew members on the BA aircraft died. This is the only fatal accident to a British Airways aircraft since the company's formation in 1974.
On 24 June 1982, Flight 9, a Boeing 747-200, G-BDXH, City of Edinburgh flew through a cloud of volcanic ash and dust from the eruption of Mount Galunggung, causing extensive damage to the aircraft, including the failure of all four engines. The crew managed to glide the plane out of the dust cloud and restart all four of its engines, although one later had to be shut down again. The aircraft made an emergency landing at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport just outside Jakarta. No-one was injured.
On 10 June 1990, Flight 5390, a BAC One-Eleven flight between Birmingham and Málaga, suffered a windscreen blowout due to the fitting of incorrect bolts the previous day. The Captain suffered major injuries after being partially sucked out of the aircraft, however the co-pilot landed the plane safely at Southampton Airport.
On 2 August 1990, Flight 149 landed at Kuwait International Airport four hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, leading to the capture of the passengers and crew, and the destruction of the aircraft.
On 11 December 2000, British Airways Flight 2069 from London Gatwick Airport to Nairobi experienced a hijack attempt whilst flying over Sudan. A Kenyan student with a mental illness burst into the cockpit of the Boeing 747. As three crew fought to restrain the man, the auto-pilot became disengaged and the jet dropped 10,000 feet (3,000 m) with 398 passengers on board. However, with the help from the passengers, the pilots recovered the aircraft, successfully restrained the Kenyan with handcuffs and the plane landed safely. Passengers aboard the plane included English singer Bryan Ferry and socialite Jemima Khan.
On 19 February 2005, the No. 2 engine of a Boeing 747-400 G-BNLG surged (whereby the airflow through the engine reverses) and suffered internal damage just after take off from Los Angeles on a flight to London Heathrow with 16 crew and 351 passengers on board. The crew shut the engine down and continued the climb and continued the flight, in line with BA's standard operating procedures for 4 engined aircraft. Because it was unable to attain normal cruising speeds and altitudes, the aircraft diverted to Manchester Airport, England. The United States Federal Aviation Administration had been critical of the Captain's decision and accused BA of operating the aircraft in an non airworthy condition. In June 2006 the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended that the UK and US authorities review the policy on flight continuation and give clear guidance. This has not happened but the FAA have accepted the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority’s determination that the aircraft was airworthy.
On 17 January 2008, British Airways Flight 38, a Boeing 777-200ER G-YMMM, flying from Beijing to London, crash-landed approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) short of London Heathrow Airport's runway 27L, and slid onto the runway's threshold. This resulted in damage to the landing gear, the wing roots, and the engines, resulting in the first hull loss of a Boeing 777. There were 136 passengers and 16 crew on board. 1 serious and 12 minor injuries were sustained. The initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch stated that the engines repeatedly failed to respond to commands for more thrust from both the autothrottle system and from manual intervention, beginning when the aircraft was at an altitude of 600 feet (180 m) and 2 miles (3.2 km) from touchdown. In September 2008, it was revealed that ice in the fuel might have caused the crash. In early 2009, Boeing sent an update to aircraft operators, identifying the problem as specific to the Rolls-Royce engine oil-fuel flow heat exchangers.