In a first, British Airways opens to public its 100-year history; never-before-seen memories now available online
In a first, the British Airways has opened its archive collection to the public to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its 100-year history. The step has been taken to mark the airline's centenary this year. The collection explores moments from airline's 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 includes historical photos, videos, as well as articles that explain how the airlines has evolved over the years 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 collection will be hosted on a special centenary hub - ba.com/100/centenary-collection.
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. 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.
"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," Alex Cruz, British Airways' Chairman and CEO said.
The collection has been revealed just days after the Queen had visited the airline’s headquarters at Heathrow, to mark the centenary.
The 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.
To mark its 100th birthday, the airline also plans to host a range of activities and events throughout the year. It will also host 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.
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.