To commemorate British Airways 100 years of flying, the airline created a flight to remember for its colleagues. Flying from London Heathrow of Kuala Lumpur, two flights were operated solely by cabin crew who are family members or have a long family history with the company.
On board the 12 hour 50 minute flight, there were three teams of mother and daughter along with second the third generation British Airways colleagues. All of them carries a unique story about working for the airline during its 100 year history.
Angela Williams, British Airways’ Director of People said: “Our colleagues have been such an integral part in making us the airline we are today. You only have to listen to the stories from our colleagues on board these flights to realise what a wonderful history British Airways carries through the people that work here.”
From one flight alone, our cabin crew colleagues had nearly 285 years’ experience of working for British Airways. Their family had worked in roles including engineering and flight operations.
Leading the team on board, Keith Payne, a British Airways Inflight Business Manager said: “This was a once in a lifetime experience for our colleagues and customers on board. Not only did our colleagues relish the rare opportunity to work as a family, our customers were in high spirits throughout the flight.”
British Airways’ history
- 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.