British Airways – Ratings and Reviews

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Full Review (British Airways)

British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom and its largest airline based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations. When measured by passengers carried it is second-largest, behind easyJet. The airline is based in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport.

A British Airways Board was established by the United Kingdom government in 1972 to manage the two nationalised airline corporations, British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways, and two smaller, regional airlines, Cambrian Airways, from Cardiff, and Northeast Airlines, from Newcastle upon Tyne. On 31 March 1974, all four companies were merged to form British Airways. After almost 13 years as a state company, British Airways was privatised in February 1987 as part of a wider privatisation plan by the Conservative Government. The carrier soon expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian in 1987, Dan-Air in 1992 and British Midland International in 2012.

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, after SkyTeam and Star Alliance. British Airways merged with Iberia on 21 January 2011, formally creating the International Airlines Group (IAG), the world’s third-largest airline group in terms of annual revenue and the second-largest in Europe.

A long-time Boeing customer, British Airways ordered 59 Airbus A320 family aircraft in August 1998. In 2007, it purchased 12 Airbus A380s and 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, marking the start of its long-haul fleet replacement. The centrepiece of the airline’s long-haul fleet is the Boeing 747-400; with 55 examples in the fleet, British Airways is the largest operator of this type in the world.

In January 1972 a British Airways Board was established by the UK government following the passing of the Civil Aviation Act 1971, to manage British Overseas Airways

Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways (BEA). On 1 September 1972 the management service functions of both the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways (BEA) were combined under the newly formed British Airways Group.

British Airways was established as an airline on 31 March 1974 by the dissolution of BOAC and BEA. 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 that the two carriers would no longer compete on long-haul routes.

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. Services to the US began with a flight to Washington Dulles airport inaugurated 24 May 1976, and flights to New York JFK airport followed on 22 September 1977. Service to Singapore was established in co-operation with Singapore Airlines as a continuation of the flight to Bahrain. Following the Air France Concorde crash in Paris and a slump in air travel following the 11 September attacks in New York in 2001, it was decided to cease Concorde operations in 2003 after 27 years of service. The final commercial Concorde flight was BA002 from New York JFK to London Heathrow on 24 October 2003.

While many other large airlines struggled, Lord King was credited with transforming British Airways into one of the most profitable air carriers in the world. The flag carrier was privatised and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in February 1987. British Airways  effected the takeover of Britain’s “second” airline, British Caledonian, in July of that same year.

The formation of Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 created a competitor for BA. The intense rivalry between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic culminated in the former being sued for libel in 1993, arising from claims and counter claims over a “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin. This campaign included allegations of poaching Virgin Atlantic customers, tampering with private files belonging to Virgin and undermining Virgin’s reputation in London. As a result of the case BA management apologised “unreservedly”, and the company agreed to pay £110,000 damages to Virgin, £500,000 to Branson personally and £3 million legal costs.

British Airways is the largest airline based in the United Kingdom in terms of fleet size, international flights, and international destinations and was, until 2008, the largest airline by passenger numbers as well. The airline carried 34.6 million passengers in 2008, but rival carrier easyJet transported 44.5 million passengers that year, passing British Airways for the first time. British Airways holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, it is permitted to carry passengers, cargo, and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.

The airlines’ head office, Waterside, stands in Harmondsworth, a village near London Heathrow Airport. Waterside was completed in June 1998 to replace British Airways’ previous head office, Speedbird House, which was located on the grounds of Heathrow.

With the exception of the Boeing 707 and early Boeing 747 variants from BOAC, British Airways inherited a mainly UK-built fleet of aircraft when it was formed in 1974.

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.

The company has its own engineering branch to maintain its aircraft fleet, this includes line maintenance at over 70 airports around the world. As well as hangar facilities at Heathrow and Gatwick airports it has two major maintenance centres at Glasgow and Cardiff Airports and a new facility at Prestwick Airport treating wing skin corrosion on A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. From the beginning of 2012 most heavy maintenance on the Boeing 737-400 Gatwick-based fleet is now done at the Lufthansa Technik maintenance facility in Sofia, Bulgaria

 

Quick Review (British Airways)

Founded:            31 March 1974

Hubs:                    London Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport

Alliance:              Oneworld

Subsidiaries:      BA CityFlyer, OpenSkies, British Airways Limited, British Airways World Cargo

Fleet size:           267

Destinations:     169 excluding subsidiaries

Company slogan              To Fly. To Serve.Upgrade to British Airways (online marketing).The World’s Favourite Airline (former)

Parent company:            International Airlines Group

Headquarters:  Waterside, Harmondsworth, England

Revenue:             £10.827 billion (2011)

Website:              www.britishairways.com,

Web (Nigerian): http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ctclist/public/en_ng/About_Country=NG

Telephone:         0800BACALLS, 0800 2222 557,+234 1 279 2690

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