Flying History Brought Back To Life

For the first time, British Airways has chronicled its rich history, in a new book ‘British Airways: An Illustrated History’ written by its Museum Archivist Paul Jarvis. It coincides with British Airways’ fortieth anniversary this month, following its merger with BOAC and BEA in April 1974.

The lavishly illustrated book features advertising posters, maps and images and charts the airline’s rich history from 1919 until the current day, including its forerunner airlines ‘Imperial Airways’ ‘BOAC’, ‘Caledonian Airlines’ and ‘BEA’.

The posters and images offer a unique insight into a bygone era of travel, when flying was the preserve of the rich and the world was opening up to the possibility of commercial travel.

Paul Jarvis, British Airways Museum Archivist and author of the book, said: “It wasn’t really until the late sixties that the British public considered going abroad for holiday. It was a very exciting time, when the world was still being discovered.

“From 1974 onwards, when the airline became British Airways, commercial travel changed forever. Increased competition, new technology and the recognition of face-to-face business meetings, played their role. Airlines started flying to new and far-reaching destinations. Demand for travel went up, and prices went down. It all shaped the experience we know and love today.”

‘British Airways: An Illustrated History’ by Paul Jarvis is published by Amberley Publishing and is available at the end of March from bookstores and online.

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