Explore our past: 1960 - 1969

BOAC Vickers VC-10.


25 January: BOAC services to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile using Comet 4 aircraft resumed after an eight year lapse due to the aircraft shortage that occurred following the Comet 1 disasters.

1 April: The tripartite partnership between BOAC, Air India and Qantas was formed.
BEA’s first pure jet service started with De Havilland Comet 4Bs. BEA introduced new low fares on international and domestic services.

8 April: The last service operated by a BOAC Argonaut took place.

1 May: Lower fares were introduced on services operated by propeller driven aircraft.

27 May: BOAC commenced flights using Boeing 707 aircraft. The first revenue-earning service was to from London to New York on G-APFD.

23 June: BOAC signed a £25 million contract for Vickers Super VC10 aircraft.
BOAC’s first Boeing 707 service to Canada took place.

29 July: Rear-Admiral Sir Matthew Slattery succeeded Sir Gerald d’Erlanger as Chairman of BOAC.

27 September: BEA carried its 25,000,000th passenger.

1 October: Economy fares on the Far East and Australian routes were launched.
The quadripartite partnership between BOAC, SAA, EAAC and CAA was launched.
The first low fare Skycoach services on UK cabotage routes to East and Central Africa was operated by BOAC, BUA, CAA and EAA.

16 October: The last scheduled transatlantic service to be operated by a BOAC Comet 4 service between London and New York took place.

31 October: The last BEA scheduled service between London and Birmingham took place.

1 December: Economy fares on the Pacific routes were introduced.

3 December: BOAC commenced an all cargo service across the North Atlantic using DC-7F aircraft.
Boeing 707 operations extended across the Pacific from San Francisco to Hong Kong and Tokyo to connect with London to Hong Kong Comet services to complete a round-the-world pure jet service.

17 December: The first BEA scheduled passenger service with a Vickers Vanguard aircraft took place.


31 January: The first BOAC Boeing 707 service to Zurich, Tel Aviv and Tehran took place.

1 March: Economy fares were introduced on South Atlantic routes.

2 March: the first BOAC Boeing 707 service to Los Angeles on the new ‘Polar’ Route’ took place.

1 June: The first BOAC Boeing 707 service London to Washington took place.

31 October: BOAC commenced flights from London to Manila using Comet aircraft.

1 November: BEA introduced the world’s cheapest scheduled air fare on its routes between London and Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast on off-peak night services.


6 January: BOAC Britannia 102 aircraft operated on the London to Mauritius route.

9 January: The first flight of the De Havilland Trident, BEA’s new three-engined jet aircraft took place.

26 February: BEA introduced their electronic reservations unit, which was loacted at the West London Air Terminal.

28 February: The inaugural non-stop BOAC Comet 4 service to Cairo took place.

March: The lowest ever (under £100) BOAC transatlantic fare was introduced.

28 March: BOAC’s London Airport operations moved from North sSide to the new No 3 Passenger Building Oceanic in Central Area.

10 May: The last BEA DC3 service operated between Islay, Cambeltown and Glasgow.

20 June: BOAC and CunardSteam sShip sCompany formed BOAC-Cunard Ltd to operate scheduled air services from Britain to the United sStates, Caribbean and northern South America.

October: BOAC Boeing 707 aircraft took over the West Africa services and joined Comet 4 aircraft on the Australia services.


February: BOAC’s electronic reservations system was introduced in Canada and later in the year in September was introduced in New York.

April: BOAC Comet 4 aircraft began a twice weekly jet service between London and New Zealand.

23 September: A BEA Heron aircraft operated the 5,000th flight of the Scottish Air Ambulance Service.

October: The inaugural flight took place of a BOAC transatlantic freight service by Canadair CL44, replacing the Douglas DC7 freighter.

November: BOAC ended the operation of the London to Los Angeles direct service.

1 November: BEA commenced a direct service between London and Aberdeen.


1 January: Sir Giles Guthrie succeeded Sir Matthew Slattery as BOAC’s Chairman.
BEA Helicopters Ltd was formed.

February: BOAC Britannia 312 aircraft ended operations on the North Atlantic routes.

11 March: BEA operated its first revenue-earning Trident flight (G-ARPG), on an ad-hoc substitution of a Comet 4B service to Copenhagen.

31 March: Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Douglas of Kirtleside retired as Chairman of BEA and was succeeded by Mr Anthony Milward.

29 April: BOAC commenced Standard VC-10 operations when G-ARVJ flew from Heathrow to Lagos.

May: British Airways Helicopters commenced the Penzance to Isles of Scilly scheduled services.
BOAC introduced a daily service from Manchester and Glasgow to New York.

1 October: BOAC withdrew its east coast services to South America.

November: BOAC withdrew its London to Washington service.

December: The 30th anniversary of UK to Australia service in partnership with Qantas was reached.


January: BOAC started a twice-weekly Comet charter service for carriage of emigrants from UK to Australia.

1 April: BOAC inaugurated services by Super VC-10 G-ASGD operated the inaugural flight from London to New York, continuing on to San Francisco.

17 April: BEA’s automatic seat reservation system at West London Air Terminal came into operation.

10 June: BEA's Trident 1 G-ARPR flight number BE343 arrival at Heathrow from Paris Le Bourget made the world’s first fully-automatic landing of a commercial airliner carrying fare paying passengers.

November: BOAC's Comet 4 aircraft were withdrawn from service.
BOAC's Cargo Terminal Building at John F Kennedy Airport, New& York was opened.

December:BOAC operated the inaugural service of the weekly 707 service to Georgetown, Guyana.


January: The first services of the Boeing 707-336C all cargo aircraft linking London, Manchester and Glasgow with USA and Canada took place.

February: BOAC commenced its VC10 operation to Chicago via Montreal.

April: BOAC commenced its service to Mexico via Bermuda and Kingston with an inaugural flight.
BEA commenced flights from Manchester to Brussels, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam and Zurich using Trident jet aircraft.

2 May: BEA commenced the first jet service between Heathrow and Glasgow using Comet 4Bs.

31 October: The Handley Page Herald flew its last scheduled service with BEA.

10 November: BOAC and SAA’s Springbok partnership reached its 21st anniversary.

December: BOAC Engine Overhaul Ltd was formed at Treforest, South Wales.


1 January: Inclusive tour fares were introduced.

16 January: BEA Trident aircraft were introduced on the London to Belfast route. BEA Comet 4B aircraft were introduced on the London to Edinburgh route.

1 April: The inaugural flight of BOAC UK to Australia service via the South Pacific took place.

10 April: BEA commenced the London to Budapest service.

11 December: The Concorde prototype 001 F-WTSS rolled out at Toulouse.

December: BOAC commenced services from Manchester and Glasgow to the Eastern Caribbean via New York.


1 April: The joint BOAC/BEA Air Transport Staff College started operation.
The first scheduled BEA services to Paris Orly Airport took place.
BEA flights from London to Bremen began with Comet 4B aircraft.

May: BOAC commenced flights to Jeddah.

1 June: BEA Trident Two aircraft were introduced on services from London to Milan, Madrid, Dublin and Stockholm.

October: BOAC introduced non-stop services to Antigua and Barbados, and also freighter services to Australia.

7 November: Boadicea House, BOAC’s new computer complex at London Airport, was opened.

17 November: BEA’s Super One-Eleven aircraft enter scheduled service on German internal routes.


1 January: Mr Charles Hardie was appointed as chairman of BOAC in succession to Sir Charles Guthrie.

2 March: The first flight of Concorde 001 from Toulouse, France took place and was shortly followed by Concorde 002 from Filton, UK on 9 April.

April: BEA and Air France joint operations began on internal German services.
BEA Airtours Ltd., a new subsidiary charter company, was formed.
The first BEA Super One-Eleven flight from London to Berlin took place.

May: ‘Polar Route’ London-Anchorage-Tokyo-Osaka was inaugurated by BOAC Boeing 707 aircraft.

July: BEA's inaugural flight from London to Stuttgart took place.

August: The BOAC Cabin Crew Training Centre at Cranebank opened.

November: BEA became world’s first airline to publish an entirely computer-produced timetable.
PALC (Passenger Acceptance and Load Control), BEA's computerised check-in system, came into use at the West London Air Terminal.