- To mark British Airways’ centenary, the airline has launched a Centenary Archive Collection of never-before-seen photographs and videos from its 100-year history
- The Centenary Archive Collection includes images from Concorde, Royal flights and vintage airline posters
- An interactive year-by-year timeline illustrates how British Airways became one of the world’s leading airlines
- The archive will be hosted on the airline’s dedicated Centenary site – ba.com/100/centenary-collection
LONDON, UK, 2019-May-28 — /Travel PR News/ — To mark British Airways’ centenary this year, the airline has opened its archive collection to the public for the first time to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its 100-year history.
The British Airways Centenary Archive Collection explores moments from the very first international flight with its predecessor airline, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) on August 25, 1919 carrying a journalist, Devonshire cream, leather and several brace of grouse, to the latest images of its brand-new Club Suite.
The collection, which will be hosted on a special centenary hub – ba.com/100/centenary-collection, showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how the British Airways we know today evolved from a single-engine De Havilland aircraft flying the world’s first daily international scheduled flight to Paris, to become a leading airline flying more than 45 million customers a year to more than 200 destinations across the world.
The digital collection includes images and videos of aircraft throughout the decades, close-up photographs of uniforms worn by generations of cabin crew and pilots, behind-the-scenes memorabilia from Royal and Olympic flights, and artefacts from Concorde – the most famous aircraft that ever flew.
The reveal of the Centenary Archive Collection comes just a day after British Airways had the honour of hosting a visit from Her Majesty the Queen at the airline’s headquarters at Heathrow, to mark the centenary.
British Airways will continue to develop and add to the site throughout its centenary year, including adding recollections written by current and retired colleagues and carefully preserved records, documents and images from its extensive archive.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Air travel has always been about connecting people around the world, and this website will share the stories, achievements and memories of 100 years of British Airways history.
“Since 1919, British Airways and its forerunners pioneered commercial air travel, and our Centenary Archive Collection will continue to evolve as we look forward to the next 100 years of aviation.”
The British Airways Heritage Collection is managed by retired British Airways’ colleagues based at the airline’s head office near Heathrow. It comprises hundreds of thousands of documents and pieces of memorabilia from British Airways and its predecessor companies British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), British European Airwats (BEA), British South American Airways (BSAA) and the pre-war Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd.
British Airways is also hosting a range of activities and events throughout the year to mark its 100th birthday. As well as looking back, the airline is also hosting BA 2119 – a programme, which will lead the debate on the future of flying and explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels, the aviation careers of the future and the customer experience of the future.
This year the airline has also unveiled four aircraft re-painted in heritage liveries as part of its Centenary celebrations – a British Overseas Airways Corporate (BOAC) liveried Boeing 747, an Airbus A319 in a British European Airways (BEA) livery, and two further Boeing 747 aircraft painted in the Negus and Landor livery designs.
The Centenary activity is taking place alongside the airline’s current five-year £6.5bn investment for customers. This includes the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline has also revealed a brand-new business class seat with direct aisle access, the Club Suite, which will debut on the Airbus A350 later this year.
Notes to Editors
The new digital archive is created in partnership with Bond Creative Agency.
Bond brings together talent from different fields to create cross-disciplinary solutions for brands. Our team includes graphic, spatial, and strategic designers, producers, digital developers, copywriters and artisans. Our working model is agile and designer-driven. We have studios in Helsinki, Dubai, London and Tallinn.
A potted history of BA:
- On August 25, 1919, British Airways’ forerunner company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris.
- In 1924, Britain’s four main fledgling airlines, which had by then evolved into Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways (a successor to AT&T), and British Air Marine Navigation Company Limited, merged to form Imperial Airways Limited.
- By 1925, Imperial Airways was providing services to Paris, Brussels, Basle, Cologne and Zurich. Meanwhile, a number of smaller UK air transport companies had started flights and in 1935, they merged to form the original privately-owned British Airways Limited, which became Imperial Airways’ principal UK competitor on European routes.
- Following a Government review, Imperial Airways and British Airways were nationalised in 1939 to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Continental European and domestic flights were flown by a new airline, British European Airways (BEA) from 1946. BOAC introduced services to New York in 1946, Japan in 1948, Chicago in 1954 and the west coast of the United States in 1957. BEA developed a domestic network to various points in the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.
- From 1946 until 1960, BOAC and BEA were the principal British operators of scheduled international passenger and cargo services – and they preserved Britain’s pioneering role in the industry. The 1950s saw the world enter the passenger jet era – led by BOAC, with the Comet flying to Johannesburg in 1952, halving the previous flight time.
- Additional airlines began to pass into BEA’s ownership and in 1967, the Government recommended a holding board be responsible for BOAC and BEA, with the establishment of a second force airline, resulting in British Caledonian being born in 1970.
- Two years later, the businesses of BOAC and BEA were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board, with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974.
- In July 1979, the Government announced its intention to sell shares in British Airways and in February 1987 British Airways was privatised.
- In January 2011 the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) was formed when British Airways and Iberia merged. IAG has since also become the parent company of Aer Lingus, and Vueling and in 2017, IAG launched LEVEL a new low-cost airline brand that operates from Barcelona, Paris and Vienna.
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Source: British Airways