10 Interesting facts about British Airways.
1. BA first flight carried only one passenger and launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris.
On 25 August 1919 Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), a forerunner company of British Airways, launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service, between London and Paris. 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.
2. British Airways is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 747-400.
The Boeing 747-400 is a wide body, four-engine jet manufactured by Boeing, the American aerospace company. Its distinctive upper deck shape has earned it the nickname “Jumbo Jet”. BA is the world’s largest operator of the Boeing 747. The 747-400 is a proven performer with high reliability and incorporates major aerodynamic improvements over earlier 747 models, including the addition of winglets to reduce drag, new avionics, and a new flight deck.
3. International Airlines Group (IAG) announced a joint business agreement between British Airways and Qatar Airways.
International Airlines Group (IAG) announced a joint business agreement on October 30, 2016 between British Airways and Qatar Airways.
The joint business will benefit customers by providing better links between the UK, continental Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, with a greater choice of flights and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. The revenue-sharing agreement will allow the airlines to cooperate on scheduling and pricing, providing customers with more flexible options and an attractive range of fares.
Customers will be able to travel more easily on the airlines’ combined route network. The joint business will see the two airlines code-sharing on all non-stop flights operated between the UK and Doha and connecting services to destinations in the UK, continental Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. This will include British Airways’ daily direct flights from London Heathrow to Doha.
This agreement will also strengthen the oneworld alliance and enable it to compete more effectively on these routes.
4. British Airways and Air France operated the supersonic airliner Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde, and the world’s first supersonic passenger service flew in January 1976 from London Heathrow to Bahrain.
The first supersonic passenger-carrying commercial airplane (or supersonic transport, SST), built jointly by aircraft manufacturers in Great Britain and France. The Concorde made its first transatlantic crossing on September 26, 1973, and it inaugurated the world’s first scheduled supersonic passenger service on January 21, 1976—BA initially flying the aircraft from London to Bahrain and Air France flying it from Paris to Rio de Janeiro. Both airlines added regular service to Washington, D.C., in May 1976 and to New York city in November 1977.
British Airways Concorde made just under 50,000 flights and flew more than 2.5m passengers supersonically. With a takeoff speed of 220 knots (250mph) and a cruising speed of 1350mph – more than twice the speed of sound – a typical London to New York crossing would take a little less than three and a half hours as opposed to about eight hours for a subsonic flight. In November 1986 a British Airways Concorde flew around the world, covering 28,238 miles in 29 hours, 59 minutes.
5. British Airways has affected more than 1,000 flights when BA suffered a computer power failure. All flights were cancelled, and thousands of passengers were affected.
The airline was hit by a worldwide computer system power failure, causing cancellations and delays for thousands of passengers.
More than 1,000 flights were affected. At Heathrow alone, BA had 406 flights scheduled to depart after 9am and a further 71 at Gatwick, according to flightstats.com.
The chaos happened just after 11am on 27 May 2017 when the company’s unreliable new IT system crashed worldwide for the sixth time in a year.
6. The British Airways has its own engineering branch to maintain its aircraft fleet, this includes line maintenance at over 70 airports around the world.
British Airways Engineering has over 80 years of experience in providing maintenance, repair and overhaul services to British Airways and other customers, operational expertise has fostered a can-do culture centered on finding solutions. BA have invested in state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance, avionic, interiors and mechanical workshop facilities and have a worldwide reputation for engineering excellence. Technically good solutions are shared, and this saves our customers millions.
BA maintain an impressive range of aircraft in our extensive facilities. Based in the UK, BA team of 2000 highly skilled engineers working across 30 hangar bays can execute any requirements you have, from a rapid response casualty unit through to major maintenance and structural repairs. BA are focused on safety, delivery, reliability and value.
7. British Airways purchased the internet domain ba.com in 2002 from previous owner Bell Atlantic, ‘BA’ being the company’s acronym and its IATA Airline code.
BA, one and the same as ba.com and one of the simplest-to-remember websites in the business: ba.com.
That’s Bell Atlantic’s site – or at least it was before Martin Lock got involved. He was marketing and e-commerce director for Excel Airways, while heading UK e-commerce for British Airways, he realized it was crucial for the airline to own the web address ba.com.
Lock spent a year wresting ba.com from its previous owners (the price remains a secret), then had to spend months persuading BA executives that simple was best, and that britishairways.com was too cumbersome. He has been vindicated by the airline’s emphasis on ba.com – but Lock now finds himself in competition with the site he created.
8. In 2013, British Airways became the first commercial airline in Europe to operate both the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
On July 4, 2013, British Airways debuted the future of its fleet by making a rare, if not unprecedented move. Two new airliners, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 were introduced simultaneously at a special ceremony for media and dignitaries at London’s Heathrow Airport. Not only are both aircraft being delivered and unveiled at the same time, but British Airways will be the first airline to operate and take delivery of both the A380 and 787 in a single fleet.
9. British Airways powers its future by turning household rubbish into jet fuel.
British Airways has entered a partnership to design a series of waste plants that convert household waste into renewable jet fuel to power its fleet.
The partnership, with Velocys, a renewable fuels company, is part of the airline’s plans to develop long-term, sustainable fuel options.
The first plant will take hundreds of thousands of tons of household waste per-year, destined for landfill or incineration, including nappies, plastic food containers and chocolate bar wrappers, and convert it into clean-burning, sustainable fuels. This will contribute to the airline’s commitment to reduce net emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.
10. British Airways i360 The tallest moving observation tower in the world.
The tower has been acknowledged by Guinness World Records as the world’s most slender tower, with a height-to-width ratio of more than 40-1.
British Airways i360 is a 162-metre (531 ft) observation tower on the seafront of Brighton, East Sussex, England at the landward end of the former West Pier. The tower opened on 4 August 2016. From the fully enclosed viewing pod, visitors experience 360-degree views across Brighton, the South Downs, the English Channel and on the clearest days it is possible to see Beachy Head 17 miles (27 km) to the east and the Isle of Wight 49 miles (79 km) to the west.
According to the operator, the “i” in the title stands for “intelligence, innovation and integrity”.