Explore our past: 1990 - 1999

British Airways Concorde and the Red Arrows in flight.
collapsedmostrar1990
Explore our past: 1990
The Boeing 767 entered British Airways’ service on its European routes, predominately to Charles de Gaulle, Paris.
May Plans were announced to increase British Airways’ services between the UK and Japan to 15 a week from the autumn, following a new agreement with the British and Japanese governments.
June A proposal was unveiled to develop a new £70m aircraft engineering base, to be built at Cardiff Airport in Wales, creating 1,200 jobs. The facility would be used to carry out heavy maintenance on the airline’s growing fleet of Boeing 747s. Plans were announced for a new £37m catering base at Heathrow to replace the airline’s existing shorthaul facility at the airport, producing 29,000 meals daily.
July 21 Boeing 747-436s were ordered and 12 options were placed. The airline’s total order for the aircraft type was 42.
November Two new brands were announced in the airline’s economy cabin, in an effort to win a greater share of the air travel market. World Traveller, on intercontinental services, and Euro Traveller on shorthaul, would offer passengers more comfortable seats, improved catering and a wide range of in-flight entertainment. Most importantly, they were to provide a new approach to service. The new brands were to be commence flying on 15 January 1991.
collapsedmostrar1991
Explore our past: 1991
February The Gulf War caused a significant loss of traffic, resulting in job losses and the deferral of several aircraft deliveries.
March A campaign was announced that was designed to bring back traffic after the Gulf War. 'The World's Biggest Offer' aimed to give away every seat free on the airline’s international services on 23 April.
29 March Cuts in a number of uneconomic services were announced, including the withdrawal of all services from the UK to the Republic of Ireland. Also to be withdrawn were services to Amsterdam (from Gatwick), Banjul, Freetown, Karachi and Nassau, and Concorde services to Miami.
June A £10m package of customer service enhancements was announced designed to maintain the airline’s competitive edge on the North Atlantic. 'Mission Atlantic' included new lounges and check-in facilities in the USA and new Club World catering and passenger service enhancements at Heathrow, all of which were to be introduced during the month on services to 21 destinations in North America.
July An agreement was signed to begin work on creating a new international airline based in Moscow to be known as Air Russia. British Airways would have a 31% stake.
August

The airline ordered 15 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by General Electric GE90 engines with an option on 15 more. The aircraft formed part of a £4.3 billion package, including orders and options for 24 Boeing 747-400s and 11 British Aerospace ATPs.

 

British Airways agreed in principle to sell the business previously carried on by British Airways Engine Overhaul Limited to General Electric of the US for around £272m.

October The airline took delivery of its first three 141-seat Boeing 737-436 aircraft. By the end of March 1992, 13 of the aircraft would be in scheduled service with 14 more due for delivery by December 1993. The last of the operating Lockheed Tristar aircraft were withdrawn.
collapsedmostrar1992
Explore our past: 1992
January A three-year plan to restore the airline's Gatwick operation to an acceptable level of profitability was announced.
February The airline agreed the sale of its property maintenance branch to Drake and Scull.
March British Airways Regional, a new business to run and improve the profitability of services from Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland, was announced.
April

ATP aircraft replaced the last HS748 aircraft.

 

Deutsche BA, the company formed by a consortium of German banks and British Airways, announced the acquisition of the German regional airline, Delta Air.

July

British Airways and USAir Group Inc announced an agreement to forge links through an investment by British Airways of US$750m in convertible preferred shares in USAir. The transaction was conditional upon obtaining the necessary regulatory and legal consents and the approval of USAir shareholders. The agreement was terminated in December of the same year after the US Government indicated the transaction would not be approved without unwarranted and unilateral concessions by the UK Government under the two countries' bilateral air services agreement.

 

Lord King announced he was to step down as Chairman in July 1993 after 12 years.

September British Airways announced that it intended to acquire 49.9% share in TAT European Airlines (TAT) for £17.25m, subject to adjustment at the time of completion (January 1993).
November British Airways acquired for £1 the assets of the holding company for Dan-Air. The charter side of Dan-Air was closed down but its Gatwick scheduled service routes and fleet of Boeing 737-300/400 aircraft were retained with a view to creating a low-cost BA operation at Gatwick, operating a much-enlarged network of European services.
collapsedmostrar1993
Explore our past: 1993
January

British Airways announced a new alliance with USAir, including an immediate investment of US$300m (£198m) by British Airways in new convertible preferred shares in USAir, for an initial 19.9% voting interest. The agreement gave British Airways options over the next five years to invest up to a further US$450m in preferred shares in USAir in two tranches if financial and regulatory conditions permitted. Commercial arrangements that were announced simultaneously covered codesharing on USAir flights in the USA, and the launch by British Airways of three new transatlantic services using USAir crews and aircraft leased from USAir. Both parties intended to explore other areas in which they would be able to work together to their mutual benefit.

 

British Airways paid £610,000 in settlement of a libel action brought by Mr Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited.

February Lord King retired as Chairman and became the first President of British Airways. The Board appointed Colin Marshall as Chairman and Robert Ayling as Group Managing Director.
March

British Airways purchased a 25% stake in Qantas.

 

BA Regional began two-class services from Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow to New York, and from Manchester to Los Angeles.

 

The US Government approved British Airways' alliance with USAir, with clearance for the normal period of one year for codesharing and wet-lease operations. The two airlines commenced a phased programme of codeshare flights to 38 cities.

 

British Asia Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary, inaugurated direct services between the UK and Taiwan using dedicated Boeing 747-436 aircraft with specialy designed chinese style tail logos.

April

In conjunction with USAir's sale of ten million shares of common stock, British Airways exercised its right under the investment agreement of January 1993 to invest US$101m additional preferred stock to maintain its 24.6% holding in USAir.

 

Fast Track, a dedicated channel for premium passengers opened at Heathrow Terminal 4, providing a fast service from check-in to the departure lounge.

 

TAT European Airlines commenced operations from Gatwick's North Terminal.

May

British Airways raised approximately £442m, net of expenses, by way of a Rights Issue on the basis of one New Ordinary Share for every four Ordinary Shares. Acceptances were received in respect of 92% of the shares offered.

 

British Airways and Maersk Air of Denmark announced a conditional agreement to each inject £6m into The Plimsoll Line to enable it to meet its outstanding debts and restructure. Brymon Aviation and Plymouth City Airport were to become wholly-owned British Airways subsidiaries and Maersk Air Ltd (formerly Birmingham European Airways) became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Maersk Air. Following approval of the restructuring by the Office of Fair Trading, British Airways announced in August that flights operated by Brymon and Maersk Air Ltd were to fly in the colours of British Airways.

June

British Airways launched daily flights between Gatwick and Pittsburgh using a USAir Boeing 767 in British Airways livery and staffed by USAir crews in British Airways uniforms. Similar services were launched to Baltimore in October and Charlotte in January 1994.

 

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (BAMC), the new £70m aircraft maintenance base at Cardiff Airport, was formally opened.

July

British Airways announced a new marketing agreement with CityFlyer Express. From August Cityflyer Express operated all scheduled services under the name British Airways Express, with British Airways' livery, uniforms and service standards. The agreement, for an initial five years, was designed to increase feeder traffic at Gatwick to the benefit of both airlines.

 

BA’s final BAC 1-11 aircraft were retired at Birmingham.

August As a result of the redeployment of aircraft in the fleet and the airline's drive to improve utilisation, the last four Boeing 737-436 aircraft due for delivery in the period September-December 1993 were to be placed into storage pending disposal.
December The airline opened a new £23m avionics facility in South Wales, which was to create some 375 jobs by October 1994. The new workshop would be capable of handling over 130,000 avionic components a year, more than double the workload at Heathrow, with a three day turnaround compared with the industry norm of up to 28 days.
collapsedmostrar1994
Explore our past: 1994
January The US Department of Transportation (DoT) approved British Airways' and USAir codesharing to 65 destinations across the USA until 17 March 1994.
March

The DOT renewed approval for one year and said it would not act on British Airways' application to extend these arrangements to further destinations.

 

British Airways launched "World Offers" fares to more than 50 destinations, cutting prices by an average of a third, to sell seats that otherwise probably would have been unsold.

April British Airways and Loganair announced plans to protect loss-making Scottish routes with British Airways redeploying resources on strengthening cross-border routes. Loganair would enter into a franchise arrangement to provide services on several Scottish routes in the British Airways Express livery from July.
June British Airways announced changes on services to the Caribbean from Gatwick, which included discontinuing the under-utilised First Class cabin to provide more Club World seats.
August British Airways and Qantas announced a much greater level of co-operation on services between Europe and Australasia. The airlines were to co-ordinate scheduling, sales and marketing on their 35 weekly Boeing 747-400 Kangaroo route services and the Qantas network of Boeing 767 services between Australia, Singapore and Bangkok.
September British Airways launched its new Club Europe brand, with a £70m package of improvements including new seats, lounges at key business destinations throughout Europe, telephone check-in, Fast Track through passport and security checks at Heathrow's Terminal 1, better food and a choice between a snack and a full meal.
November Concorde services to Washington were discontinued after 18 years of operation.
December GB Airways, 49% owned by British Airways, announced that from February 1995 it was to operate scheduled services as a franchisee in the British Airways livery.
collapsedmostrar1995
Explore our past: 1995
January Eight additional destinations were added to the British Airways route network as Manx Airlines Europe became a franchise operator.
March

British Airways sold its charter airline subsidiary Caledonian Airways, including its fleet of five Lockheed Tristar aircraft, to Inspirations plc.

 

British Airways and BAA plc restructured leases covering 224 acres at Heathrow, giving the airline security of tenure on its core maintenance base for 150 years.

June

HM Government reached agreement with the US Government on a new 'mini-deal' annex to the Bermuda 2 air service agreement, which secured US approval for British Airways' outstanding codeshare requests, and confirmed that the airline could operate a double-daily service from Heathrow to Philadelphia. Under the agreement, the US DoT approved applications to add 57 codeshare points to the 65 previously approved.

 

British Airways announced the transfer of eleven weekly Central and East African services to Gatwick in Spring 1996. The transfer would release slots and terminal capacity at Heathrow for the launch of additional intercontinental services.

September

British Airways announced a £500m three-year plan to revolutionise air travel. The programme kicked off with the relaunch of Club World and the Executive Club frequent flyer programme. A completely new First Class service, renamed First, was to lift off in the winter, with every other cabin then following suit.

 

USAir reported preliminary conversations with both American Airlines and United Airlines concerning possible strategic relationships up to and including the acquisition of USAir. British Airways said it would evaluate a number of options in relation to its investment in USAir and the airline's future alliance strategy in North America.

October British Airways and Qantas commenced services on the 'Kangaroo routes' between Europe and Australia under the Joint Services Agreement (JSA) between the two airlines.
November

United Airlines announced it would not pursue talks on the possibility of acquiring USAir.

 

British Airways took delivery of its first Boeing 777 and entered service from Heathrow to Dubai and Muscat.

collapsedmostrar1996
Explore our past: 1996
January

Bob Ayling became Chief Executive of British Airways Plc. Sir Colin Marshall continued as Chairman on a non-executive, part-time basis.

 

British Airways confirmed that it would not be exercising its rights to subscribe for additional preference shares in USAir.

April The airline announced a codesharing agreement with America West, enabling British Airways’ Gatwick-Phoenix passengers to fly on to selected America West destinations.
May

The airline announced the Business Efficiency Programme for the three years from 1997/8, worth £1 billion.

 

Canadian Airlines International and British Airways announced codesharing on selected routes and reciprocal frequent flyer programmes.

 

British Airways announced its first franchise agreement with a company based outside the UK. Sun-Air, the Danish regional airline, would fly as British Airways Express from August on a network linking with British Airways at Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

June British Airways and American Airlines announced plans for a broad alliance. From April 1997, the two airlines planed to co-ordinate their passenger and cargo activities between Europe and the USA, introduce extensive codesharing across each other's networks and establish full reciprocity between their frequent flyer programmes.
July British Airways announced it was to switch its Latin American services from Heathrow to Gatwick from March 1997.
August

The European Commission approved British Airways' purchase of the remaining 50.1% of the share capital of its French partner TAT European Airlines.

 

British Airways announced that from March 1997, its services to Faro, Malaga and Oporto would be operated by GB Airways as a British Airways franchise.

September British Airways announced the closure of its Contract Handling unit, which carried out ground handling for other airlines at Heathrow. All 750 staff were to be offered the choice of voluntary redundancy and severance payments, or redeployment and retraining.
October

British Airways submitted a bid, in conjunction with Paris-based Groupe Rivaud, to offer to invest FFr630m of share capital in Air Liberté.

 

The airline signed a franchise agreement with the Johannesburg-based South African regional airline Comair, starting from October. The airline’s fleet, which included two Boeing 727-200 aircraft, began to appear in BA’s colours.

 

Deutsche BA (DBA) and Regional Airlines of France agreed the sale of DBA's turboprop activities to the French company, freeing DBA to concentrate on its core jet operations.

 

British Airways announced a £10m programme of improvements to its UK domestic services. The programme included more frequencies, more capacity, more lounge space and new electronic ticketing and self-service machines for speedier check-in.

 

USAir served notice to end its codeshare and frequent flyer relationship with British Airways, with effect from 29 March 1997.

 

Under a franchise arrangement with British Airways, the Airlines of Britain Group were to take over six loss making routes serving Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

December

British Airways gave notice of its intention to sell all of its shares in USAir and in January announced the resignation from the Board of USAir of its three nominated directors.

 

The President of the Board of Trade announced that the alliance between British Airways and American Airlines should be approved without referral to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission if suitable undertakings were given. The undertakings included the two airlines making available up to 168 weekly slots (equivalent to 12 slot pairs a day) at Heathrow for use exclusively on UK-US services. These slots would be made available over a phased period with some of the slots being leased to other carriers until competitors obtained slots of their own through normal channels.

collapsedmostrar1997
Explore our past: 1997
January

British Airways and American Airlines submitted a joint application to the US Department of Transportation, requesting formal approval of their alliance. The application requested anti-trust immunity which would permit the two carriers to co-ordinate their activities between the US and Europe, and introduce extensive codesharing across each other's networks.

 

Deutsche BA introduced major changes on its domestic routes including an expanded network, simplified pricing and a standard on-board service with a single class product.

February

British Airways and British Mediterranean Airways announced a new franchise partnership on routes between Britain and the Levant.

 

British Airways announced a £250m investment in a new World Cargo centre at Heathrow.

 

The airline announced that was to combine its general accounting activities at a new Global Accounting Centre at Ruislip, which would result in a reduction of 290 jobs over three years.

March

British Airways and American Airlines linked their frequent flyer programmes, enabling members to 'earn and burn' on each other's networks, excluding transatlantic services.

 

The airline transferred its Ground Fleet Services vehicle maintenance business at Heathrow and Gatwick to Ryder plc on a five year contract.

 

British Airways announced a US$100m investment to improve facilities for passengers travelling to and from New York. The project included expanding the airline's terminal at JFK, major new road access to the building and new premium passenger facilities at Newark.

 

April British Airways and Canadian Airlines International announced an expansion of their codesharing to all flights from London to Toronto and Vancouver.
May British Airways sold its investment in US Airways, realising total proceeds of US$625m.
10 June British Airways unveiled its new corporate identity and aircraft livery, featuring images on the aircraft tails from around the world. The Concorde fleet displayed the 'Chatham Historic Dockyard' design, which would eventually became standard throughout the subsonic fleet.
July

British Airways extended its network in Australia with codeshares on certain Qantas domestic flights, and Qantas extended its network in the UK and Europe by codesharing on certain British Airways flights from Heathrow.

 

British Airways sold 45.7% of its holding in Galileo International for net proceeds of US$136.8m.

 

British Airways announced that it had agreed a memorandum of understanding with Iberia, which committed the two airlines to discussing a co-operation agreement.

August

British Airways Engineering announced a strengthened focus on maintaining British Airways' own aircraft. It was to continue to sell services to other operators, but on a more selective basis. This would result in a streamlined organisation and a reduction of 450 managerial and support jobs.

 

British Regional introduced Britain’s first Embraer EMB-145 regional jets.

September British Airways announced the sales of its landing gear business to Hawker Pacific Inc. and its wheels and brakes business to Allied Signal Aerospace.
November

British Airways announced that it was to introduce a new reward scheme in the UK and US for travel agents. The airline was also to modify its commission structure in other markets.

 

British Airways confirmed that it was to launch a new low fare, no frills airline, which would start flying in Europe in early 1998. The new airline was to be based at Stansted and operate as a separate business with its own name, identity, management and employees. The airline would eventually be launched as Go.

December British Airways sold its Heathrow catering production units to Gate Gourmet, which was part of the SAir Group. The 1,200 staff transferred to Gate Gourmet.
collapsedmostrar1998
Explore our past: 1998
January

British Airways opened a new business centre at the Club Europe lounge in Terminal 1. It was equipped with personal computers, modem connections for laptop computers, faxes, phones and printers, photocopying and scanning facilities.

 

British Airways introduced electronic ticketing on international routes. It was available on all routes between the UK and Germany and on all internal German routes with Deutsche BA.

February

British Airways announced a link up with Finnair, codesharing on 15 return flights a day between London and Helsinki as well as Stockholm, which would be effective from March. Deutsche BA would also codeshare with Finnair from March on seven routes. As well as codesharing, the agreement enabled frequent flyers to earn and redeem miles on each other's networks.

 

An order for five Boeing 777-236ER aircraft replaced an order for four 747-436 aircraft. Six Boeing 757 aircraft were also ordered. Two of the 777 aircraft and six 767 aircraft from Heathrow were to replace the Gatwick-based DC-10.

April

British Airways and Qantas announced an expansion of their co-operation on the 'Kangaroo route', with the launch of codesharing services via Bangkok.

 

Deutsche BA became fully-owned by BA.

 

Manchester Airport's new £75m terminal - named Terminal 1 British Airways - was officially opened. The new terminal, funded largely by Manchester Airport Plc, was capable of handling up to six million passengers a year and enabled all British Airways domestic and international flights, and those of its partners, to be brought together under one roof, offering a minimum connection time of just 30 minutes for transfer passengers.

22 May Low cost airline Go, a BA subsidiary, opened its first ‘no-frills’ route from Stansted to Rome Ciampino. Initially, the airline used a fleet of seven leased Boeing 737-300 aircraft.
June British Airways and Canadian Airlines expanded their codesharing to include new flights between London and Ottawa and an additional daily service between London and Toronto.
July

The European Commission (EC) published its draft remedies on the proposed alliance between British Airways and American Airlines. The draft opinion said that the Commission intended to approve the alliance provided that certain conditions were fulfilled.

 

British Airways announced a codeshare agreement with LOT Polish Airlines covering eight weekly flights between the UK and Poland starting from August. Frequent flyers would also be able to earn and redeem miles on the codeshare flights.

 

British Airways resumed services to Nigeria after a break of 14 months. The move followed the lifting of a ban by the Nigerian government on all UK-registered aircraft from operating to Nigeria.

 

British Airways announced a further realignment of capacity in the Asia-Pacific region. From October, flights between Jakarta and London would decrease from six to two a week; services to Seoul, Nagoya and Osaka were suspended. A new route connecting the UK and Australia via Kuala Lumpur would be opened, with Qantas to come off the Kuala Lumpur to Sydney leg. British Airways also announced a 14th weekly flight between London and Tokyo.

August

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry published the advice of the Director General for Fair Trading which set out the basis on which he would recommend approval of the alliance with American Airlines. His advice included the making available of 250 slots at Heathrow and Gatwick and the suggestion that slots might be sold.

 

British Airways ordered 59 aircraft in the Airbus A320 family with options on a further 129. The airline also ordered 16 Boeing 777 aircraft, with options on a further 16, whilst cancelling 5 firm orders and 7 options for Boeing 747-400 aircraft.

September

The airline announced that Rolls Royce had won the contract to supply the engines to power the new Boeing 777 aircraft.

 

British Airways announced that it was to suspend services to Osaka as a result of worsening passenger demand and the continued fall in the value of the Japanese yen.

 

British Airways and Malév Hungarian Airlines began codesharing on Malév's services between Gatwick and Budapest.

 

Members of both airlines' mileage programmes were also able to earn and redeem miles on the codeshare flights.

 

American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways announced the new the oneworld® global alliance. From early 1999, the five airlines came together to launch a wide range of initiatives designed to provide greater customer benefits, including more information and support, greater value and increased opportunities for rewards and recognition.

 

British Airways and Nigeria Airways announced an agreement over services between London and Lagos which had the approval of the UK and Nigerian authorities. A three times a week Boeing 747-436 service was to be operated by British Airways in co-operation with Nigeria Airways.

October

On the third day of open skies discussions between the UK and US, the US negotiators called an end to the discussions. The US DoT also postponed evidentiary hearings. British Airways and American Airlines continued to press for approval of their proposed alliance on commercially acceptable terms, but reiterated that the terms of the EC proposal were too harsh.

 

British Airways and Emirates signed a codeshare agreement covering selected flights between Britain and the United Arab Emirates. Subject to government approval, British Airways' flights between Heathrow and Abu Dhabi from December would carry Emirates' EK code, and Emirates services between Manchester and Dubai would bear the BA prefix.

 

British Airways and LOT further extended their codesharing to their six weekly flights between Krakow and Gatwick. At the same time, LOT moved its operations from Gatwick's South Terminal to the North Terminal. The agreement was supported by a link-up of mileage award programmes, enabling frequent flyers to earn and redeem miles on the codeshared flights.

November

The New York City Industrial Development Authority launched a $115m 34-year tax-exempt bond to assist in financing improvements to the British Airways terminal at JFK.

 

The first jumbo jet to join a British airline retired from British Airways service as part of the sale of the airline's Boeing 747-136 fleet.

 

British Airways announced that it would not be resuming regional transatlantic services to New York from Glasgow and Birmingham for Summer 1999. Neither of the services operated in the winter season due to poor demand and financial performance.

 

British Airways launched a comprehensive range of new services and benefits for World Traveller passengers. New features included new seats with adjustable headrests and footrests, more leg room and personal video screens for every passenger.

 

British Airways and Qantas announced six new codeshare routes with flights to Australia from Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester connecting over Paris or Frankfurt.

 

British Airways and Finnair announced codesharing on two daily British Airways flights from Heathrow to Glasgow and Edinburgh. The airlines also joined their codes on four daily services between Birmingham and Helsinki, operated via European hubs, offering the most convenient connecting times. British Airways also added its code to Finnair flights from Helsinki and Stockholm to Turku in Finland.

 

British Airways and Malev announced codesharing on services between Budapest and Birmingham and Manchester. The codeshare flights operated via Frankfurt, which Malev served from Budapest twice daily, where passengers could connect to British Airways' three daily flights each to Manchester and Birmingham.

December

Finnair became the first new recruit to oneworld.

 

British Airways opened its new Concorde Room at New York's JFK airport.

collapsedmostrar1999
Explore our past: 1999
January British Airways and Japan Airlines (JAL) announced a deepening of their relationship. Members of the British Airways Executive Club and JAL's Mileage Bank would be able to earn and redeem miles on both international networks from June. The airlines also planned, subject to both governments' approvals, to codeshare on JAL's daily service between Heathrow and Osaka from late summer.
February

The oneworld alliance became effective on 1 February.

 

British Airways confirmed that it was to take a 9% stake in Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA as part of the Spanish airline's privatisation programme. The expected price was in the region of £200m with a maximum of £215m. The final price would depend on a number of adjustments, such as the eventual value of Amadeus in which Iberia had a 29% stake and which was planning an Initial Public Offering. American Airlines confirmed that it would take a 1% holding in Iberia. British Airways and American Airlines would have the right to appoint two directors to Iberia's 12 person board as well representation on all Board sub-committees. Iberia announced that it had accepted an invitation to join oneworld.

 

British Airways and Iberia signed a commercial agreement under which they planned to co-operate in a wide area of activities, including codesharing on flights beyond the UK and Spain, reciprocal frequent flyer programmes, and common ground handling and cargo.

 

British Airways sold just under 30% of its holding in Equant, the telecommunications company, for a profit of £49m.

March

Base Airlines of Holland became the airline's 10th franchise partner and would offer services between Eindhoven and Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Zurich.

 

British Airways and LOT announced additional codesharing and deeper frequent flyer integration. The two airlines' combined Heathrow to Warsaw services would increase to 35 per week.

April

The airline's last McDonnell Douglas DC10 aircraft left service as part of the new fleet strategy. The DC10 fleet had been sold for conversion to freighters.

 

The 59th and final Boeing 747-436 aircraft was delivered to BA.

May

British Airways announced that it was to develop radical new products that would redefined longhaul business travel and set new benchmarks in comfort and design. The plans included improved Club World, featuring completely flat beds, a new state-of-the-art entertainment system with bigger screens, in-seat power for lap top computers, e-mail, phones and fax.

 

Linea Aerea Nacional de Chile (LanChile) became the eighth member of oneworld.

 

British Airways officially opened its new World Cargo Centre which was fitted with state-of-the-art technology. Business was scheduled to transfer to the new facility progressively over the following 18 months, enabling an increased focus on higher-yielding loose freight and significant improvements to the customer offering. This would raise average yields and the new technology and working practices were expected to improve productivity by 30%.

June

British Airways sold to Galileo International Inc its subsidiary that indirectly held 7,000,400 shares of Galileo International Inc. The disposal realised a profit before tax of £149m.

 

British Airways sold its in-flight catering facility at Gatwick to ALPHA Catering Services for £14m. In addition, ALPHA and British Airways entered into a new ten-year agreement for the supply of in-flight catering service at Gatwick and eight UK regional airports.

July

British Airways and American Airlines re-affirmed their commitment to developing their alliance, despite US DoT rejection of their application for anti-trust immunity for joint venture operations on North Atlantic routes. Both airlines envisaged many opportunities to broaden the alliance in ways which did not require anti-trust immunity, both jointly and through the oneworld alliance.

 

The Irish Government endorsed plans for the British Airways alliance with Aer Lingus. The two airlines planned to codeshare extensively and offer reciprocal benefits to frequent flyers. In the longer term both companies intended to deepen the alliance, co-operating in many areas.

 

British Airways announced that it was to suspend its own services between Heathrow and Basle, and codeshare with Crossair on that route.

 

British Airways announced plans for a £14m upgrade to Concorde. The plans included new seats, new toilets, interiors, tableware and a new lounge at Heathrow.

September

British Airways announced the disposal of 34 of its 53 Boeing 757 aircraft. They were to be converted by Boeing into freighters for DHL. Deliveries would begin in July 2000. The airline also welcomed a new generation of aircraft with the arrival in Britain of its first Airbus A319.

 

The airline announced a £50m programme of improvements to Club Europe, including faster check-in, and re-designed seats and interiors.

October

British Airways ordered 12 new 100-seat Airbus 318 aircraft, with options to purchase 12 more.

 

British Airways and LanChile announced an agreement to co-operate further on air travel between the UK and Chile. Frequent flyer miles would be redeemable on each other's services, with further exploration into codeshare opportunities.

 

The new benefits would begin in June, shortly after which LanChile would join the oneworld alliance.

 

British Airways announced that it was to increase services between Heathrow and Lagos, Nigeria, in conjunction with Nigeria  Airways from three to six services a week.

November

British Airways and Aer Lingus signed a co-operative agreement to codeshare on 14 routes across the Irish Sea and to eight continental European destinations from March. Both airlines' frequent flyers would be able to earn and redeem miles on each other's networks.

 

British Airways and American Airlines filed an application with the US DoT to codeshare on flights serving some 75 destinations in the UK, USA, Europe and Africa.

 

British Airways completed its purchase of CityFlyer Express. This followed approval from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, subject to undertakings which were offered by British Airways during the Competition Commission's investigation of the transaction.

 

British Airways launched a new £25m transfer baggage sorting system at Gatwick.

 

The first operation into London City Airport by an aircraft in British Airways' livery occurred when British Regional Airlines began their 3 per day weekday operation from Sheffield.

December Aer Lingus was confirmed as the ninth member of the oneworld alliance.