It’s A Jumbo Job At British Airways

Ever wondered what it takes to get a jumbo jet off the ground? British Airways has created a picture of the iconic aircraft, using a jumbo number of items from the aircraft to show the scale of its operation.

 From toilet rolls to teaspoons, British Airways loads thousands of individual items on to each jumbo jet before it takes to the skies. With a combined weight of 6,120 kg, the items have to be unloaded and re-loaded before every take-off.

 On a typical jumbo jet, the following items are loaded:

 1,263 items of metal cutlery

1,291 items of china crockery

538 meal trays

735 glasses

650 paper cups

34 metal teapots

220 drinks stirrers

500 coasters

233 toothpicks

2,000 ice cubes

99 full bottles and 326 quarter bottles of wine

700 small cans of fizzy drinks

164 bags of nuts in Club World

337 cushions and pillows

337 sets of headphones

337 headrest covers

435 air sickness bags

58 toilet rolls

40 extension seatbelts for children

340 safety cards

337 copies of High Life magazine

40 skyflyer packs for children

5 first aid kits

 Employees from across the airline came together to create the image, which was drawn on to the floor of an aircraft hangar. Aspects of the photograph include:


- created using pillowcases, toilet roll, hand towels and napkins.

- created using Club World blankets and blue roll (kitchen roll.)

– created using pillowcases, cabin crew sleeping bags, First blankets, china, headrest covers, Skyflyer bags for children and headrest covers.
Aircraft windows

– created using bags of nuts.
Aircraft tailfin

– the red parts are created using headset bags and extension seatbelts for children.
London Eye (London skyline)

– created using a teapot, metal cutlery, china and socks.
The Shard (London skyline)

– created using tea and coffee bags.
The Gherkin (London skyline)

– created using First cushion covers and socks.
Tower Bridge (London skyline)

– created using First slippers and Club World washbags
Big Ben’s Tower (London skyline)

– created using air sickness bags, a plate and metal cutlery (clock face)
Buildings (London skyline)

– created using oven trays, glasses, safety cards, tongs and copies of High Life magazine.
Rod Green, British Airways’ head global supply chain said: “It’s a huge job getting a jumbo in to the air, let alone a fleet of 52 every day. There are teams across the airline working together 365 days a year to ensure that all 27,260 items are delivered on time and to the right place to ensure our customers enjoy the very best travel experience. When we receive our new aircraft, the challenge will be even greater.”

 It’s been 42 years since the first British Airways (formerly BOAC) jumbo jet took to the skies and in July 2013 when it takes delivery of its first A380, the number of items loaded on to a plane will increase by approximately 10,000 to cater for two full decks of customers.

 British Airways has 52 jumbo jet aircraft in its fleet.

 A time-lapse video of the art coming together can be found at:

April 18, 2013 044/VM/12

 For further information, images and footage please contact the British Airways press office on 020 8738 5100.



 There are two different configurations of jumbo jet aircraft at British Airways, which seat between 291 and 337 customers. The new A380 aircraft will seat 469 people.

 Currently, the largest aircraft in the British Airways fleet – the Boeing 747 (fondly known as the jumbo jet) has a range of 7,600 miles and a cruising speed of 575 miles per hour at 35,000 feet. It’s 231 feet long and 63 feet high with a wingspan of 211 feet.

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