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British Airways plc ( ) is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdommarker. It is headquartered in Waterside near its main hub at London Heathrow Airportmarker and is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations. Its second hub is London Gatwick Airportmarker. British Airways has discontinued all direct overseas flights from UK airports other than Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airportmarker. BA's UK passengers originating at non-London airports must now connect via London or use other airlines with direct services.

The British Airways Group was formed on 1 September 1974 through nationalisation by the Labour Government of the time. BA was formed from two large London-based airlines, BOAC and BEA, and two much smaller regional airlines, Cambrian Airways Cardiffmarker and Northeast Airlines Newcastle upon Tynemarker. All four companies were dissolved on 31 March 1974 to form British Airways (BA) and almost thirteen years later, in February 1987, the company was privatised. The carrier soon expanded with the acquisition of British Caledonian in 1988 and Gatwick-based carrier Dan-Air in 1992. Despite being a primarily Boeing customer, British Airways placed a major order for Airbus aircraft in November 1998 with the purchase of 89 A320 Family aircraft. In 2007, the carrier placed its next major order, marking the start of its long-haul fleet replacement, ordering Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s. The centrepiece of the airline's long-haul fleet is the Boeing 747-400; with 54 examples, British Airways is the largest operator of the type in the world.

The formation of Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 began a tense relationship with BA. In 1993, the fierce rivalry led to "one of the most bitter and protracted libel actions in aviation history" in which British Airways apologised "unreservedly" for a “dirty tricks” campaign against Virgin leading to them paying damages and legal costs. Until 2008 British Airways was the largest airline of the UK, measured by passenger numbers. In 2008 the airline carried 35.7 million passengers. Rival UK carrier EasyJet carried 44.5 million passengers in the same year, taking the title from British Airways.

British Airways is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. On 31 March 2009 the airline celebrated its 35th anniversary.

On 12 November 2009, British Airways confirmed that it had reached a preliminary agreement to merge with Iberia Airlines. The combined airline will become the world's third-largest carrier (after Delta Air Lines and American Airlines) in terms of annual revenue.


British Airways (BA) was created in 1972, when the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways Corporation (BEA) managements were combined under the newly formed British Airways Board. This effectively made British Airways into the national airline for the United Kingdom and due to the lack of competition, the new company began to exert its position and significance. BA was one of only two airlines to operate the supersonic Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde; inaugurating the world's first supersonic passenger service in January 1976. The final commercial Concorde flight from New York to London was on 24 October 2003.

Sir John King, later Lord King, was appointed Chairman in 1981 with the goal of preparing the airline for privatisation. King was credited with transforming the loss-making giant into one of the most profitable air carriers in the world, boldly claiming to be "The World's Favourite Airline", while many other large airlines struggled. The flag carrier was privatised and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in February 1987 by the Conservative government. In July 1987, British Airways effected the controversial takeover of Britain's "second" airline, British Caledonian.

During the 1990s, BA became the world's most profitable airline under the slogan "The World's Favourite Airline". In 1993 BA formed British Asia Airways, a subsidiary based in the Republic of Chinamarker (Taiwanmarker), to operate between London and Taipeimarker. BA also purchased a 25% stake in Australian airline Qantas, and acquired Brymon Airways to form BA Connect all in the same year.

Lord King stepped down as chairman in 1993 and was replaced by former deputy Colin Marshall while Robert Ayling took over as the CEO. Benefits under his management included cost savings of £750m and the establishment of Go in 1998. However, one year on, in 1999, British Airways reported an 84 percent drop in profits, its worst since privatisation at the time. In March 2000, Robert Ayling was removed from his position and British Airways announced Rod Eddington as his successor. Eddington set about cutting the workforce further, in response to the slump caused by the 11 September attacks in 2001. On 8 September 2004, British Airways announced that it was to sell its 18.5 percent stake in Qantas.

In September 2005, new CEO Willie Walsh, former Aer Lingus boss, took charge of the company. In January 2008, BA unveiled its new subsidiary OpenSkies which takes advantage of the liberalisation of transatlantic traffic rights, and flies non-stop between major European cities and the United States. On 30 July 2008, British Airways and Iberia Airlines announced a merger plan that would result in the two airlines joining forces in an all-stock transaction. The two airlines would retain their separate brands similar to KLM and Air France in their merger agreement.

Financial performance

British Airways Financial Performance
Year Ended Passengers Flown Turnover (£m) Profit/Loss Before Tax (£m) Net Profit/Loss (£m) Basic EPS (p)
31 March 2009 33,117,000 8,992 (401) (358) (32.6)
31 March 2008 33,161,000 8,753 883 696 59.0
31 March 2007 33,068,000 8,492 611 438 25.5
31 March 2006 (Restated)* 32,432,000 8,213 616 464 40.4
31 March 2006 35,634,000 8,515 620 467 40.4
31 March 2005 35,717,000 7,772 513 392 35.2
31 March 2004 36,103,000 7,560 230 130 12.1
31 March 2003 38,019,000 7,688 135 72 6.7
31 March 2002 40,004,000 8,340 (200) (142) (13.2)
31 March 2001 36,221,000 9,278 150 114 10.5
31 March 2000 36,346,000 8,940 5 (21) (2.0)
31 March 1999 37,090,000 8,915 225 206 19.5
31 March 1998 34,377,000 8,642 580 460 44.7
31 March 1997 33,440,000 8,359 640 553 55.7
31 March 1996 32,272,000 7,760 585 473 49.4
* Restated for the disposal of the regional business of BA Connect.


British Airways serves nearly 150 destinations, including 6 domestic. Along with Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas and South African Airways - is one of only seven airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents.


Current fleet

With the exception of the Boeing 707 and Boeing 747 from BOAC, the airline as formed in 1972-4 inherited a mainly UK-built fleet of aircraft. 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 nineties. However, with the exception of 29 of its 777 fleet, it has often equipped its aircraft with British-made Rolls-Royce engines, examples including the Trent 800 on its Boeing 777s, the RB211-524 on its 747-400s and 767s, and RB211-535s on its 757-200s. Boeing-built aircraft for British Airways are allocated the customer code 36, which appears in their aircraft designation as a suffix, such as 737-436, 747-436, 777-236.

Although it had a large Boeing fleet it has always operated other aircraft. British built aircraft were transferred from BEA (e.g. Trident) and BOAC (e.g. VC10), and in the 1980s the airline bought the Lockheed L-1011. It has also acquired through the buyout of British Caledonian Airways in the 1980s the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Airbus A320. In the late 1990s British Airways placed its own first direct Airbus order, for over 100 A320/A319s to replace its own aging fleet of Boeing 737s. In September 2007 BA placed its first order for long-haul Airbus jets, 12 Airbus A380s with 7 options.

The British Airways fleet includes the following aircraft in September 2009:

British Airways Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Options Purchase Rights Passengers

(First/Club World/World Traveller Plus/World Traveller)
Airbus A318 2 0 16 0 32 (0/32/0/0) Dedicated Service

London City Airport - New York JFK
Airbus A319 33 0 117 (0/0/28/89)
Airbus A320-200 36 9 155 (0/0/0/155)

134 (0/0/40/94)
Airbus A321-200 11 0 165 (0/0/43/122)
Airbus A380-800 0 12 7 0 TBA Entry into service: 2012 BA deferred 6 A380s by an average of 5 months, the other 6 until 2016
Boeing 737-400 19 0 0 0 147 (0/0/0/147)

142 (0/0/10/132)

117 (0/0/50/67)
Exit from service: 2016
Boeing 747-400 50 0 0 0 299 (14/70/30/185)

337 (14/52/36/235)
Boeing 757-200 7 0 0 0 173 (0/0/35/138) Exit from service: 2009/2010 (cargo conversion)
Boeing 767-300ER 21 0 0 0 189 (0/24/24/141)

243 (0/0/50/193)
Boeing 777-200 3 0 0 0 220 (17/48/24/127)
Boeing 777-200ER 43 0 0 0 220 (13/48/32/127)

278 (0/48/24/206)
Boeing 777-300ER 0 6 4 0 TBA First aircraft to enter service: June 2010

Last aircraft to be delivered February 2012
Boeing 787-8 0 8 18 10 183 (0/42/51/90) Entry into service: 2012
Boeing 787-9 0 16 TBA Entry into service: 2014
Total 225 51 45 10

In August 2009, the average age of British Airways fleet was 11.4 years.

Aircraft operated

British Airways has operated the following aircraft. Models dated to 1974 were acquired with the merger of BOAC and BEA to form British Airways, and DC-10, along with certain 747 and BAC One-Eleven aircraft, were acquired with the takeover of British Caledonian in 1987.

Future aircraft

British Airways has 32 outstanding options with Airbus, which may be taken as any member of the A320 family. Secured delivery positions on 10 Boeing 777 aircraft are held.

On 27 March 2007, British Airways placed a firm order for four 777-200ER aircraft with an option for four more, with the order totalling more than US$800 million at list price. The company has stated that these are for fleet expansion. BA's first batch of 777 were fitted with General Electric GE90 engines, but BA switched to Rolls-Royce Trent 800s for the most recent 16 aircraft. This has been continued with the most recent four orders as Trent 800 engines were selected as the engine choice.

On 27 September 2007, BA announced their biggest order since 1998 by ordering 36 new long-haul aircraft. The company ordered 12 A380 with options on a further seven, and 24 Boeing 787s with options on a further 18. Rolls-Royce Trent engines were selected for both orders with Trent 900s powering the A380s and Trent 1000s powering the 787s. The new aircraft will be delivered between 2010 and 2014. The Boeing 787s will replace 14 of British Airways' Boeing 767 fleet and the Airbus A380s will replace 20 of BA's oldest Boeing 747-400s and will most likely be used to increase capacity on routes to Bangkokmarker, Cape Townmarker, Hong Kongmarker, Johannesburg, Singaporemarker, and Sydneymarker from London Heathrow.

On 1 February 2008, it was announced that BA had ordered two Airbus A318s to operate a premium service out of London City Airportmarker (LCY) to New Yorkmarker. The two A318s used for the service are fitted out with 32 lie flat beds in an all business class cabin, and the service began in September 2009. The A318 is the largest aircraft able to operate out of London City Airport. On 4 February 2008 the engine selection was announced as the CFM International CFM56. Most of BA's fleet of A320 family aircraft are powered by International Aero Engines V2500, however these engines are not available to power the A318. It was subsequently announced that, because of runway length limitations at LCY, this route will include a westbound fuel stop.

On 1 August 2008, BA announced orders for six Boeing 777-300ER and options for four more as an interim measure to cover for delays over the deliveries of their 787-8/9s. On 12 January 2009 CEO Willie Walsh stated that BA's purchase of six 777-300ERs did not indicate that they had ruled out purchasing the A350 for their fleet renewal program and "that the airline expects to reach a decision towards the end of the year."


The musical theme predominantly used on British Airways advertising is "The Flower Duet" by Léo Delibes. This, and the slogan "The World's Favourite Airline" were introduced in 1989 with the launch of the iconic "Face" advertisement. The slogan was dropped in 2001, after having been overtaken by Lufthansa in terms of passenger numbers. However, "Flower Duet" is still used by the airline, and has been through several different arrangements since 1989. The recent version of this melody was shown in 2007, with a new slogan, "Upgrade to British Airways".

The advertising agency used for many years by BA was Saatchi & Saatchi, who created many of the most famous advertisements for the airline. It created the influential "Face" commercial for the airline; following the termination of its relationship with BA, it also made an imitation of this commercial for rival Silverjet in 2007. As of February 2007, BA's advertising agency is Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Prior to "The World's Favourite Airline", advertising slogans included:
  • "The World's Best Airline".
  • "We'll Take More Care Of You".
  • "Fly the Flag".

Online, the value of the British Airways Brand was pushed in 2002 as that the company was able to buy its acronym,and its IATA Airline code the letters "BA" as their internet domain The domain was previously owned by Bell Atlantic. Only four Airlines (AA, BA, LH, RJ, XL) and few companies own a two-letter domain name.

British Airways is the official airline of the Wimbledon Championship tennis tournamentmarker, and the official airline and tier 1 partner of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Tail fins

Since its formation in 1974, though to a limited extent until all aircraft were repainted, British Airways' aeroplanes carried a Union Flag scheme painted on their tail fins. The original predominantly red tail scheme was changed with the launch of a new livery designed by the New York design agency, Landor Associates. The new tail was predominantly dark blue and carried the British Airways Coat of Arms. On 10 June 1997 there was a highly controversial change from the use of the British colours to ethnic logos and abstract world images, Delftware or Chinese calligraphy for example. All the designs related to countries on the company's network of routes. This caused problems with air traffic control: whereas previously controllers had been able to tell pilots to follow a BA plane, they were now harder to visually identify because each plane was painted in a range of different colours and colour schemes.

Several people spoke out against the change from the traditional Union Jack Scheme, including the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; BA's traditional rivals, Virgin Atlantic, quickly adopted the British flag along with the slogan "Britain's national flagcarrier". On 6 June 1999, BA CEO Bob Ayling announced that all BA planes would be repainted with the Union Flag, based on a design first used on Concorde.


United Kingdom

UK Domestic seat pitch is 31" on all aircraft and the seats are in a one-class configuration. Food on these services depends on the destination and time of day. On all UK Domestic services before 10am, a hot breakfast meal is served and after 10am there is a drinks service with a light snack. The exception is for Scottish flights to and from Heathrow in the evening, where a meal size salad is served.

Business UK has exactly the same service (same cabin) as UK Domestic, with a fully flexible ticket and lounge access.


Euro Traveller seat pitch is 31", except on Boeing 757 aircraft where it is 32" and Airbus A321 aircraft where it is 30". Food on board depends on the destination "band" (e.g. Band 1 to Paris, Band 3 to Rome, Band 4 to Athens). In-flight entertainment is offered on Band 4 flights on 767-300 aircraft.

Club Europe is the short-haul business class product offered by British Airways on all short-haul flights (except within the UK). Passengers have access to business lounges at most airports and are also served a full English breakfast in the mornings or 'extended breakfast' on later flights (ham, salami etc) and afternoon tea later in the day. Seat pitch is 31" on most aircraft, but on the Boeing 757 fleet it is 36-37". Club Europe currently offers the same number of seats across as Euro Traveller but the middle seats are kept free. Starting 2 September 2009, Club Europe has seats in a 2-3 configuration on narrow-body aircraft - this change is being implelented progressively across the fleet. The middle seat is also kept free. Club Europe was originally lanuched on the 5 Janaury 1988 along with Club World.


World Traveller cabin

FIRST is the long-haul first class product on British Airways and is offered only on BA's Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 aircraft. There are 14 private "demi-cabins" with beds, in-seat power for laptops, personal phones, and entertainment facilities. Menus are upgraded from Club World and offer greater choice and quality. Some airports boast dedicated First check-in desks but in airports without a dedicated First check-in, passengers use Club World check-in. BA have announced that a long-awaited upgrade to the First cabin will be installed in September 2009, with a minor refresh taking place immediately. This has also seen the introduction of a private concierge service provided by Quintessentially. The last major First cabin update was back in 1996.

Club World is the long-haul business class product of British Airways. Passengers have access to business lounges at most airports and an arrivals lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5. On 13 November 2006, British Airways launched a new Club World service (termed Next Generation New Club World), offering larger seats and a service revamp. The Club World service provides a wide, long fully flat bed ( long in Next Generation New Club World cabins when in Z-bed position, which is not fully flat, the flat bed is still 6 feet), with 24 seats on the 767-300ER (New Club World), either 40 or 48 seats on the 777-200 (New Club World), and, since 2007, either 52 or 70 seats on the 747-400 (Next Generation New Club World). Club World was originally launched on the 5 Janaury 1988 along with the original Club Europe.

World Traveller and World Traveller Plus are the two main economy classes offered internationally on British Airways. World Traveller is standard economy and offers a 31" seat pitch. World Traveller also offers seat-back entertainment systems, free meals and drinks and a fully adjustable headrest. World Traveller Plus is British Airways' premium economy offering and, in comparison to World Traveller, boasts a larger (38") seat pitch, fewer seats abreast, two armrests per seat, added recline and in-seat laptop power. World Traveller Plus is situated in a separate cabin from World Traveller and in a quieter location in the aircraft.

Special cabin configuration

Spacing onboard aircraft in order to maximise the economics of a flight has become increasingly competitive. In 2001, British Airways became the first carrier to introduce a ten abreast economy class configuration on the Boeing 777, an aircraft which had been designed for nine abreast seating. This utilised specially built narrow seats and aisles, and was applied to three GE-engined 777-200ERs used predominantly on Caribbean routes, but sometimes flown to and from Florida. Since BA piloted this development, the configuration has been emulated by Emirates Airline, Air France, KLM and China Southern Airlines. British Airways has since removed this unpopular configuration, returning to standard nine abreast seating.

Airport lounges

British Airways operate different types of lounge for passengers travelling in the premium cabins and passengers with status. The Concorde Room at New York JFKmarker Terminal 7 will be refurbished to the same standard as the Concorde Room at Heathrow Terminal 5A. First lounges are being replaced by Galleries First lounges. Terraces and Executive Club lounges are being replaced by Galleries Club lounges. The Gate 1 lounge at Heathrow Terminal 4 will be closed when the three remaining BA long-haul services move to Heathrow Terminal 3 on 29 October 2009. At the same time, a new Galleries First lounge will open in Heathrow Terminal 3 to complement the existing Galleries Club lounge.

At airports in which BA does not operate a departure lounge, a third party departure lounge is usually provided for premium/status passengers. A third party arrivals lounge is provided at London Gatwick Airport within the Sofitel hotel.


British Airways holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, and is permitted to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.

BA is based at London Heathrow Airportmarker in west London, England. It also has a major presence at London Gatwick Airportmarker and at one time they had a significant hub at Manchester Airportmarker. However, this was stopped when British Airways sold their sub company, BA Connect, in common with operations from other UK airports, which are now served only as spokes from the London hubs. BA has succeeded in dominating Heathrow to the point that the airport is commonly referred to as Fortress Heathrow within both the airline and its competitors.

As an incumbent airline, BA had grandfather clause to around 40% of all landing and taking off flight slots at Heathrow, many of which are used for the lucrative trans-Atlantic market. Some competitors, such as Virgin Atlantic and bmi, assert that this stifles competition and some political think-tanks recommend an auction of slots. In recent years British Airways has been buying slots from other airlines including United Airlines, bmi, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Air Lines, and now owns about 40% of slots at Heathrow.

BA CityFlyer is a subsidiary with Avro RJ aircraft based in London City Airportmarker. BA CityFlyer operates around 250 flights per week from London City Airport.

Despite being the National Carrier of the United Kingdom, British Airways does not operate flights to or from Walesmarker and Northern Irelandmarker and services to all airports 'north of Watford Gap' were severely truncated in March 2007. On 27 March 2008, BA moved almost half of their Heathrow operating staff, equipment, and aircraft to the new Terminal 5. All BA flights will operate out of T5 by late 2009, except some service flights which will operate out of Terminal 3. T3 British Airways operations include long-haul codeshare flights and the European flights which are operated by Boeing 757 aircraft.

Codeshare agreements

Other than codesharing with oneworld alliance members, British Airways also codeshares with:

Subsidiaries, franchisees and shareholdings


British Airways previously was the full owner of Airways Aero Associations Limited, which operates the British Airways flying club and runs its own aerodrome under the British Airways brand at Wycombe Air Parkmarker, High Wycombemarker. With the creation of OpenSkies between Europe and the United States in March 2008, British Airways has a new subsidiary airline called OpenSkies (previously codenamed "Project Lauren"). The airline started operations in June 2008, and now flies from Paris to New York, JFK Airport.

The former BEA Helicopters was renamed British Airways Helicopters in 1974 and operated passenger and offshore oil support services until it was sold in 1986.


  • Comair, based in South Africa, franchisee since 1996.
  • Sun Air, based in Denmark, franchisee since 1 August 1996.


BA owns a 13.5% stake in Spanish airline Iberia. It raised its stake in Iberia from 9% to 10% by purchasing American Airlines' remaining shares. BA increased this further in March 2008 to a 13.5% stake, giving British Airways the right to appoint two board members. On 30 July 2008, British Airways and Iberia announced a merger plan that would result in the two airlines joining forces in an all-stock transaction. The two airlines would retain their separate brands similar to KLM and Air France in their merger agreement.

BA obtained a 15% stake in Flybe when it sold its regional UK operation BA Connect to FlyBe in March 2007. The airline also owns a 10% stake in InterCapital and Regional Rail (ICRR), the company that manages operations of Eurostar Ltd., ICRR members also include SNCF, NMBS/SNCB and National Express Group. Eurostar (UK) is the UK arm of Eurostar, the cross-Channel rail operator.


BA is, through its subsidiary British Airways World Cargo, the world's twelfth-largest cargo airline based on total freight tonne-kilometers flown. BA World Cargo has global freight opportunities through the British Airways flight routes. In addition to the main fleet, BA World Cargo wet lease three Boeing 747-400F aircraft from Global Supply Systems on a multi-year basis, as well as utilising space on dedicated freighters operated by other carriers. Dedicated freighter services gives British Airways World Cargo the opportunity to service destinations that are not available on their passenger route network.

British Airways opened a World Cargo centre at Heathrow in the late 1990s. As an advanced automated freight handling centre, it can handle unusual and premium cargo, and fresh produce, of which it handles over 80,000 tons per year. BA World Cargo also handles freight at London's Gatwick and Stansted airports, and, through its partner British Airways Regional Cargo, at all of the main regional airports throughout the UK.

Loyalty programmes

British Airways Executive Club logo

Executive Club

The Executive Club is British Airways' main frequent flyer programme. It is part of the network of frequent flyer programmes in the Oneworld alliance. The Executive Club has three tiers of membership: Blue, Silver, Gold. The benefits of the Silver and Gold cards include access to airport lounges and dedicated reservation lines. Unlike most airlines' frequent flyer programmes, the Executive Club keeps separate account of the redeemable BA Miles and the loyalty Tier Points. Flying in higher Classes of Service, i.e. Premium Economy, Business or First, will earn extra BA Miles and Tier Points. As of August 2009, Tier Points can be earned on any flight, including discounted economy fares.

Discounted economy fares will only earn 25% BA Miles. Membership of the Executive Club will be extended annually upon attaining the relevant number of Tier Points. For instance, to maintain the Silver Executive Club will require 4 Premium Economy Returns between the UK and the US Eastern Seaboard.

The number of tier points required for Silver and Gold card membership varies substantially between countries leading to some passengers changing their address to a European country in order to qualify for membership with fewer tier points.

Redeemable miles expire after 36 months of inactivity.


BA operates an invitation-only Premier programme which gives more benefits than the Executive Club Gold Card scheme. It is given only by the BA board and has 1,200 members.

Incidents and accidents

  • In November 1974, British Airways Flight 870 from Dubaimarker to Heathrowmarker, operated by a Vickers VC10, was hijacked in Dubai, landing at Tripolimarker for refuelling before flying on to Tunis. One hostage was murdered before the hijackers eventually surrendered after 84 hours. Captain Jim Futcher was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal, the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators Founders Medal, the British Air Line Pilots Association Gold Medal and a Certificate of Commendation from British Airways for his actions during the hijacking, having returned to the aircraft to fly it knowing the hijackers were on board.
  • On 10 September 1976, a Trident 3B on British Airways Flight 476, flying from London Heathrow to Istanbul collided in mid-air with an Inex Adria DC9-32 near Zagrebmarker, Croatiamarker, resulting in the 1976 Zagreb mid-air collisionmarker. All 54 passengers and 9 crew members on the BA aircraft died. This is the only fatal accident to a British Airways aircraft since the company's formation in 1974.
  • On 24 June 1982, Flight 9, a Boeing 747-200, G-BDXH, City of Edinburgh flew through a cloud of volcanic ash and dust from the eruption of Mount Galunggungmarker, causing extensive damage to the aircraft, including the failure of all four engines. The crew managed to glide the plane out of the dust cloud and restart all four of its engines, although one later had to be shut down again. The aircraft made an emergency landing at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airportmarker just outside Jakartamarker. No-one was injured.
  • On 10 June 1990, Flight 5390, a BAC One-Eleven flight between Birminghammarker and Málagamarker, suffered a windscreen blowout due to the fitting of incorrect bolts the previous day. The Captain suffered major injuries after being partially sucked out of the aircraft, however the co-pilot landed the plane safely at Southampton Airportmarker.
  • On 2 August 1990, Flight 149 landed at Kuwait International Airportmarker four hours after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, leading to the capture of the passengers and crew, and the destruction of the aircraft.
  • On 11 December 2000, British Airways Flight 2069 from London Gatwick Airport to Nairobimarker experienced a hijack attempt whilst flying over Sudanmarker. A Kenyan student with a mental illness burst into the cockpit of the Boeing 747. As three crew fought to restrain the man, the auto-pilot became disengaged and the jet dropped with 398 passengers on board. However, with the help of a couple of passengers, the pilots recovered the aircraft, successfully restrained the Kenyan with handcuffs and the plane landed safely. Passengers aboard the plane included English singer and Roxy Music frontman, Bryan Ferry and socialite Jemima Khan.
  • On 19 February 2005, the No. 2 engine of a Boeing 747-400 G-BNLG surged and suffered internal damage just after take off from Los Angelesmarker on a flight to London Heathrow with 16 crew and 351 passengers on board. The crew shut the engine down and continued the climb and continued the flight, in line with BA's standard operating procedures for 4 engined aircraft. Because it was unable to attain normal cruising speeds and altitudes, the aircraft diverted to Manchester Airportmarker, England. The United States Federal Aviation Administration had been critical of the Captain's decision and accused BA of operating the aircraft in an non airworthy condition. In June 2006 the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch recommended that the UK and US authorities review the policy on flight continuation and give clear guidance. This has not happened but the FAA have accepted the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority’s determination that the aircraft was airworthy.
  • On 17 January 2008, British Airways Flight 38marker, a Boeing 777-200ER flying from Beijing to London, crash-landed approximately short of London Heathrow Airport's runway 27L, and slid onto the runway's threshold. This resulted in damage to the landing gear, the wing roots, and the engines, resulting in the first hull loss of a Boeing 777. There were 136 passengers and 16 crew on board. 1 serious and 12 minor injuries were sustained. The initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch stated that the engines repeatedly failed to respond to commands for more thrust from both the autothrottle system and from manual intervention, beginning when the aircraft was at an altitude of and from touchdown. An adequate fuel quantity was on board the aircraft and the autothrottle and engine control commands were performing as expected prior to, and after, the reduction in thrust. In September 2008, it was revealed that ice in the fuel might have caused the crash. In early 2009, Boeing sent an update to aircraft operators, identifying the problem as specific to the Rolls-Royce engine oil-fuel flow heat exchangers.


  1. " British Airways to sell its Qantas stake." Airline Industry Information. 2004-09-08. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  2. BA Shares British Airways shareholder 'Reports & Accounts' Archive
  3. British Airways historic fleet at Retrieved 2009-11-20
  4. Flight International, 2005-07.
  5. Flight International, 2007-01-23


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