British Airways

British AirwaysBritish Airways ( is the largest airline in the world based on fleet size and international operations. Although the second largest UK airline in terms of passengers, British Airways remains the United Kingdom's flag carrier.

About British Airways

British Airways (BA) is the largest international scheduled airline based in the UK. Along with Iberia, the airline's parent company is the International Airlines Group (IAG). With its partners, the airline has an extensive route network with more than 400 destinations worldwide. The London-based carrier's call sign is "Speedbird", while its IATA airline designator is BA and its ICAO code is BAW. British Airways' main hubs are London's Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport.

In 2012, British Airways carried over 37.5 million passengers. With more than 160 destinations, the airline is one of the few that serve all inhabited continents. British Airways also operates one of the largest fleets in the world with over 270 aircraft. As of March 2014, the airline's fleet includes Airbus A318-100, A319-100, A320-200, A321-200 and A380-800 aircraft. British Airways also operates Boeing 737-400, 757-200, 767-300, 747-400, 777-200, 777-300 and 787 aircraft, and Embraer 170 and 190 jets.


British Airways traces its roots back to the UK's first commercial flights. A forerunner to today's BA, Aircraft Transport and Travel launched the first daily scheduled international air service from London to Paris in 1919. By 1920, the airline ceased operations due to subsidised competition from Europe. In 1924, Imperial Airways was created with the merging The Instone Air Line, Handley Page Air Transport, The Daimler Airway and British Marine Air Navigation. By the 1930s, the airline operated flights throughout the UK, Europe, Africa, India, Australia, North America and the Middle East.

The original British Airways was formed on 1 January 1936 with the merger of United Airways, Hillman's Airways and Spartan Airlines. The airline's first flights included Paris, Copenhagen, Malmo and Hamburg. In 1938, the British government announced plans to merge British Airways with Imperial Airways to create the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). Established in November 1939, BOAC began flying as the UK's state airline in April 1940 with wartime services for the government. Following the end of the Second World War, British European Airways (BEA) was created to take over BOAC's European routes and British South American Airways (BSAA) operated its South American routes.

The British Airways Group was established in September 1973 to manage BOAC and BEA. A year later, British Airways began operating as an independent airline with the dissolution of BOAC and BEA. The new airline welcomed the world's first passenger supersonic jet in 1976 with Concorde flights to Bahrain and Washington. British Airlines was privatised in 1987, part of the UK government's broader move to denationalise state corporations. That same year, the airline joined with British Caledonian. This was followed by takeovers of Dan-Air in 1992 and British Midland International (BMI) in 2012. In 2011, British Airways joined forces with Iberia to create the International Airlines Group (IAG).


British Airways flies to over 160 destinations around the world. Within the UK, the airline serves Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London (Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports), Manchester and Newcastle. As of March 2014, the carrier also serves Jersey and Gibraltar, 26 countries in Europe, and an additional 53 nations throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas.

As a member of the oneworld alliance, British Airways has codeshare flights with partners Air Berlin, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines. Subsidiaries of British Airways include BA CityFlyer, which operates flights between London City Airport and various European destinations, while OpenSkies links New York area airports with Paris. Franchises operations include South Africa's Comair and Denmark's SUN-AIR. The airline also has codeshare agreements with various other airlines around the world.

Classes of Service

On long-haul flights, British Airways offers four classes of service. First, BA's first class cabin, is available on Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s, as well as certain Boeing 777s. Club World business class is found on Boeing 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft, and Airbus A318 and A380 jets. Private cabins on First include a fully flat bed with mattress and duvet, while Club World seats feature fully flat beds and memory-foam headrests. Both classes offer luxurious onboard meals, ample comfort with workspace, in-seat power, widescreen entertainment screens, and access to airport lounges. World Traveller is available on all flights outside Europe and features complimentary meals and drinks, as well as seat-back entertainment. World Traveller Plus is BA's premium economy option with a dedicated cabin, more comfortable seats and in-seat power.

Within the UK, British Airways operates a single economy class service. On flights to Europe, BA offers two classes with its Euro Traveller and Club Europe. BA's business class offering, Club Europe passengers have access to private airport lounges, dedicated check-in and priority boarding, additional baggage allowances, a delicious inflight meal service, and seats with extra space. On Euro Traveller, economy class passengers enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, newspapers, and leather seating.

Head Office Address

British Airways Plc
PO Box 365