Explore our past: 2000 - 2009

British Airways Boeing 747-400 in chatham colours.


 

2000

January: British Airways announced the introduction of a new cabin, World Traveller Plus. The cabin would offer more space and facilities than World Traveller for a premium to the full World Traveller fare. Services between London and New York JFK were to be fully embodied with both the Club World 'Lounge in the Sky', the world's first fully flat bed in business class, and World Traveller Plus by Summer 2000.

British Airways took delivery of its first two Boeing 777 extended range aircraft.

British Airways completed the £17m (R168m) purchase of an 18.3% shareholding in Comair, its franchise partner in Southern Africa.

British Airways agreed to sell Galileo UK to Galileo International Inc.

British Airways launched the world's first commercial interactive TV service offered by an airline. The service was to appear within the interactive TV travel sections of the UK cable companies Cable & Wireless Communications, ntl and Telewest.

February: British Airways announced its e-business strategy, comprising e-Commerce, e-Working, e-Procurement and e-Ventures. E-Procurement was targeted to increase on-line purchasing in the UK from 25% to 80% by March 2002, saving more than £175m on the airline's £3.7 billion a year purchasing spend. E-Working was to transform the way the company carried out its business internally. E-Ventures included three new on-line ventures, in which up to £100m of investment was planned over the following two years. These would be an on-line travel agency; a lifestyle portal; and a significant expansion of the on-line activities of Air Miles.

British Airways and Qantas announced the introduction of new services between the UK and Australia. Together, the airlines were to offer four daily services between London and Sydney. Qantas would also add a second daily service between Melbourne and London. Frequencies between Singapore and Perth were to rise to 18 per week, with Singapore-Brisbane frequencies rising to 11 per week. These legs were to be operated by Qantas 767 aircraft and would offer more connections to London via Singapore. To support the new schedules, Qantas was to lease from British Airways seven Boeing 767 aircraft, released as a result of BA’s new fleet strategy.

The oneworld® alliance announced the formation of a central management team to drive future growth and the launch of new customer services and benefits. It would be led by Peter Buecking, who was to step down from his role as Sales and marketing director with Cathay Pacific Airways. As oneworld managing partner, he would report to the alliance's governing board, comprising of the chief executives of the member airlines.

March: British Airways completed its acquisition of 9% of the shares in Iberia, at a total of Ptas41 billion (£155m). If the price of the shares in Iberia offered through its public flotation were less, the sum paid by British Airways was to be reduced accordingly.

British Airways and Cathay Pacific signed a codeshare agreement, adding Cathay's CX code on British Airways' flights between Heathrow with Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

April: Six major world airlines, including British Airways, announced the formation of a company to create and operate an internet marketplace, linking airlines worldwide with sellers of airline-related goods and services. The company would handle approximately $32 billion of the six airlines' supply chain business annually. The other founding member airlines were American Airlines, Air France, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.

British Airways announced it was to transfer management of its flight booking, departure control, inventory and related information systems to Amadeus.

British Airways teamed up with GetThere.com, the leading supplier of internet-based business-to-business travel systems in the US, to launch a new on-line business travel management system. The private access website was available to travel agents for their medium to small sized corporate clients and also to corporate customers who wished to book directly.

Following extensive consultation with trade bodies and UK travel agents, British Airways announced the payment levels for the agents' remuneration scheme, which in 2001 was to replace the standard seven 7% payment. Payments were to be higher for longhaul than for shorthaul, and for full fare flexible tickets than restricted tickets to reflect the increased workload.

May: British Airways sold its 86% shareholding in the parent company of Air Liberté to Taitbout Antibes BV. British Airways' net cash proceeds were FFr457m (£40m). Accounting rules required goodwill previously written off to be reinstated, leading to a loss on disposal of approximately £56m. The net effect of the disposal was to increase reserves by £117m, and eliminate the continuing trading losses of Air Liberté.

In conjunction with ten other major airlines, British Airways announced the creation of the first European, multi-airline, on-line travel agency. The new site would offer the public access to the most up-to-date fare information, including the airlines' lowest branded fares. Passengers would also be able to book hotels, car hire, insurance and other travel services through the site.

British Airways sold its 14.1% stake in Hogg Robinson to the management buy-out consortium, leading to a £4.9m profit on disposal.

British Airways rolled out a free on-line information service for leisure and business travel agencies. This gave give the UK travel trade extranet capability, allowing the agent to view product and service information, special promotions, training information and an on-line service to enable agents to talk to the trade query centre.

1 May: Rod Eddington joined British Airways as Chief executive, succeeding Robert Ayling. Previously Mr. Eddington was Managing director of Cathay Pacific and Executive chairman of Ansett.

June: With the entry into service of the ninth Airbus A319 at Birmingham, the last Boeing 737-236 aircraft was retired from the Eurohub terminal.

British Airways and LanChile announced a codesharing agreement. Due to start in August, LanChile would operate connections between Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, replacing British Airways' service on that sector, which had struggled to make a profit since introduction in 1993.

Canadian Airlines International withdrew from the oneworld alliance. oneworld airlines continued to provide services to seven Canadian cities with 64 daily flights.

British Airways consolidated its leisure activities into one division, to offer an integrated range of leisure products sold through all distribution channels, including travel agents, tour operators, British Airways Telesales, Travel Shops and ba.com.

British Airways renewed its franchise agreement with GB Airways for a further eight years. The Gatwick-based carrier had been a franchise carrier since 1995.

July: The embodiment of Club World flat beds was completed for the Heathrow to JFK route.

British Airways launched a trial offering on-line check-in for its top corporate customers via the British Airways extranet. The system allowed customers to check in and select seats from home or the office up to 24 hours before departure. If the trial proved successful, the service was to be offered to the top 200 corporate customers by the end of March 2001.

The British Airways Executive Club was relaunched with an enhanced range of benefits. In October, BA Miles would replace Air Miles as the mileage currency for UK Executive Club members. Members would be able to earn miles on discount economy fares for the first time and mid and longhaul destinations were to be easier to reach. BA Miles were to focus on rewarding anyone who flies with British Airways, while Air Miles continued as the UK's leading frequent shopping reward scheme.

CityFlyer Express ordered six new Avro RJ100 jets, together with options for six more. The aircraft were to be used to upgrade selected routes currently operated by ATR aircraft, as well as introduce some new routes on to the CityFlyer network. Delivery of the aircraft was scheduled from November 2000 through to April 2001.

National Jet Italia, a start-up carrier, became the 11th member of the British Airways franchise family, flying from Rome to Palermo four times daily.

August: The new Club World flying beds were now available on the Hong Kong route. The seats had been well-received by customers on the Heathrow to New York JFK route, with a significant rise in customer satisfaction ratings for cabin crew, catering, sleep, privacy, comfort and space.

World Traveller Plus was now available to be booked between London Heathrow and New York JFK, Hong Kong and San Francisco for services from 29 October.

British Airways cancelled all Concorde operations after the loss of an Air France aircraft near Paris Charles de Gaulle on 25 July. British Airways remained optimistic that services would resume at some point. As a result of the suspension of Concorde operations, an extra 32 new Club World seats were to be available on two daily Heathrow to New York JFK services from mid-September.

October: Following the completion of the Club Europe embodiment on its aircraft, British Airways increased the baggage allowance for the cabin. Passengers could now take two pieces of hand baggage weighing up to 18kgs on board, doubling the previous allowance.

AirNewco, an airline-led B2B initiative which included British Airways, and MyAircraft, a B2B exchange led by aerospace manufacturers, announced their intent to combine their efforts into one venture.

British Airways launched a new corporate rewards program for small to medium sized businesses, called On Business, following a successful nine months trial period. Each time an employee of a member company booked an eligible fare with British Airways, the company earnt points which could be exchanged for a range of business travel rewards, such as free flights, chauffeur drives to or from UK airports, Heathrow and Gatwick Express train tickets and hotel vouchers.

British Airways and Iberia announced further codesharing agreements. BA codes were added to Iberia services between Gatwick and Oviedo, Palma and Ibiza and between Palma and Mahon. The IB code was added to BA flights between Gatwick and Faro, Oporto, Palma, Tenerife and Bermuda and between Heathrow and Faro.

November: British Airways announced that it was to restructure its operations at Gatwick into a largely point-to-point business. British Airways also announced its intention to sell Go, its no frills subsidiary, and to better integrate its various shorthaul operations.

British Airways unveiled its new-look First cabin. The investment included new interiors, improvements to seat cushioning and bedding, and in-seat telephones and laptop power.

British Airways and Finnair extended their codesharing agreement to include a longhaul route. Finnair's AY flight code was added to one of British Airways' two daily services between Heathrow and Toronto.

December: British Airways announced the results of its review of Gatwick operations, marking a shift from previous attempts to build Gatwick as a transfer hub. The plan, which was to be implemented over two years, included reducing longhaul destinations served from Gatwick from 43 to around 25, through cutting some destinations and relocating other services to Heathrow. Gatwick's shorthaul business would be refocused on serving the needs of London and South East England, and the consolidation of City Flyer operations in the North Terminal.

Thomas Cook and British Airways announced that they planned to merge their existing UK scheduled businesses, Thomas Cook Holidays and British Airways Holidays outbound business, to create a 50/50 joint venture company.

British Airways appointed Mike Street, the airline's Director for Customer Service and Operations, to the company's board.

Zambian Air Services (ZAS) became a British Airways franchise company. ZAS was to begin flying from Johannesburg to N'dola twice a week and from Johannesburg to Lusaka three times a week.

2001

January: British Airways began modifying its Concorde aircraft, with the hope of resuming services later in the year. £17m was to be spent on safety-related modifications and £14m on upgrading the onboard product.

British Airways announced large cuts in many of its fares, effective from 1 April. The adjustments to fares reflected the changes in payments to agents, following the introduction of its new agents' remuneration scheme.

British Airways announced the launch of its new Value Pass, enabling passengers to buy full fare domestic and Club Europe e-tickets in bulk at a 10-18% discount.

British Airways and Iberia announced the expansion of their codesharing agreement to cover four destinations in Spain served by Iberia subsidiary Air Nostrum. From February, the BA code would be added to Air Nostrum/Iberia flights between Madrid and the regional cities of Almeria, Murcia, Pamplona and Zaragoza.

February: British Airways re-opened its First class lounge at London Heathrow's Terminal 4 for premium passengers, ensuring unrivalled comfort and luxury on the ground and in the air. A new Concorde Room designed by Sir Terence Conran was also opened in the airline's Lounge Pavilion at Terminal 4, in anticipation of a resumption of supersonic services later in the year.

March: British Airways confirmed it intended to make a recommended offer for all of the issued shares in British Regional Air Lines PLC (BRAL). The offer was subject to formal approval by the Office of Fair Trading. The purchase was a further step in British Airways' previously announced plans to co-ordinate better its various shorthaul businesses and reduce fragmentation among subsidiary and franchise partners.

The Airline Group, including British Airways, was named by the UK Government as strategic partner for National Air Traffic Services' public-private partnership. The group announced plans for £1 billion worth of investment.

April: British Airways and Iberia announced that they were to extend their codesharing arrangements to long-distance routes. British Airways' code was to be added to Iberia's six weekly flights between Madrid and Lima. Iberia's code was to be placed on five weekly British Airways flights between London Heathrow and Bangkok.

Australia became the latest country to get the Next Generation products; the Club World flat beds and World Traveller Plus. Aircraft flying to Melbourne and Sydney were embodied with the new 21st century products.

May: British Airways announced that customers could save money each time they buy a ticket from the airline's website - www.ba.com. Passengers would benefit from a £3 discount for domestic and shorthaul flights and £5 for longhaul journeys. The discount applied to all bookings to and from the UK.

June: British Airways sold its no-frills subsidiary "Go" for £100m to private equity company 3i.

British Airways celebrated 10 years of operations at Birmingham's Eurohub.

July: British Airways Concorde G-BOAF flew for the first time since modifications were made as part of the programme to return the supersonic airliner safely to service.

11 September: Possibly the worst day in aviation history. Terrorists hijacked two United Airlines and two American Airlines flights, crashing two of the aircraft into the World Trade Centre's twin towers in New York, and a third into the Pentagon in Washington. The fourth aircraft crashed in woodland in Pennsylvania. No British Airways aircraft were directly involved, although 22 aircraft were diverted. More than 4,000 people were killed. Staff all over British Airways volunteered to ease disruption in the terminals as chaos reigned following many cancellations and aircraft diversions.

Following the attacks British Airways drew up a plan of action. A Business Response Scheme to achieve 7,000 workforce reductions was approved. A reduction in flying of 10% was also announced. Other measures included a review of spending on new projects, aircraft modifications, investment in products and a moratorium on IT expenditure.

Concorde's Certificate of Airworthiness was returned by the Civil Aviation Authority and its French equivalent, DGAC. It marked the end of an intensive programme of work by the manufacturers, regulatory authorities, British Airways and Air France to ensure Concorde returned safely into service.

October: British Airways combined its two UK regional subsidiaries, British Airways Regional (BAR) and CitiExpress, creating the second largest regional airline in Europe. The combined regional business would have a turnover in excess of £600m and a fleet of 92 aircraft serving more than 120 routes. The new entity would employ around 3,200 people and carry some 5m passengers each year.

Concorde tickets went on sale and were snapped up in preparation for the flagship's return to commercial service.

British Airways launched a new twice-daily service between Manchester and Zurich. The flight, operated by British Airways CitiExpress, the wholly owned British Airways regional subsidiary, provided a Club Europe and Euro Traveller service.

British Airways launched a promotion to get people flying again, with 50,000 Club class tickets up for grabs for Executive Club members, enabling them to take a companion free. Five million cut-price tickets also went on sale to destinations all over Europe with children able to fly for free.

British Airways won the prestigious Grand Prix Award for International Design Effectiveness for the new Club World seat which turned into a six-foot fully flat bed. The award was given in recognition of how the product had revolutionised business travel. The seat also won the best consumer product award.

November: Armour-plated cockpit doors were fitted on all British Airways aircraft as an extra security measure.

7 November: Concorde returned to commercial service. G-BOAF landed in New York for the first time since July the previous year. The atmosphere on board was described as "electric".

Heathrow Terminal 5 was given the go-ahead by the UK Government. It was due to open in 2007.

December: Concorde services returned to Barbados. British Airways was to operate a once a week scheduled supersonic service to the island from London Heathrow. The average flight time between London Heathrow and Barbados was 3 hours and 50 minutes. A subsonic aircraft such as a Boeing 747, flying the same distance, averaged a flight time of 8 hours 50 minutes.

British Airways suspended services from Hong Kong to Taipei and Manila. British Airways and its oneworld alliance partner, Cathay Pacific Airways, announced an expansion to their codesharing agreement to cover Kuala Lumpur, Auckland and eleven destinations in Europe.

2002

January: British Airways increased services to Nassau and Grand Cayman for the summer to cope with increased demand. The extra weekly service meant an additional Boeing 767 was put on the route to operate to the Caribbean islands.

The US Department of Transportation announced the regulatory conditions for the proposed alliance between British Airways and American Airlines, which involved giving up 224 Heathrow slots. Rod Eddington, British Airways' chief executive and Don Carty, chairman and chief executive, American Airlines said the regulatory price was too high.

February: The chief executives of the eight oneworld member airlines - Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile and Qantas - underlined their commitment to the alliance by accelerating plans to deepen working relationships between the partners. The new developments included a major expansion of codesharing agreements between the airlines.

British Airways unveiled a major package of measures designed to return the airline to profitability, following a wide-ranging analysis of its business, led by chief executive Rod Eddington. The review - known as Future Size and Shape - showed the measures that would need to be introduced to meet £650m of annualised cost savings. They included 5,800 further job losses in addition to 7,200 announced previously with total head office and support staff to be reduced by more than a third and a significant restructuring of the short haul business to compete with no frills carriers.

March: The wholly owned BA subsidiary BA CitiExpress was officially launched, operating to 48 destinations from 26 airports.
Passengers benefited from travelling with a full service regional airline that offered high frequency schedules to some of Europe's top cities. BA CitiExpress was created from the integration of two wholly owned subsidiaries, Brymon Airways and British Regional Airlines.

April: British Airways signed a deal with Warburg Pincus to enable the private equity investor to acquire a majority shareholding in World Network Services (WNS), the airline's India-based data management company. The sale of WNS was put forward to enhance the future growth prospects and development of the company and allowed British Airways to maintain a meaningful stake, whilst pursuing its ongoing strategy to focus on core business.

The outcome of the Future Size and Shape in the regions was unveiled. BA CitiExpress had undertaken a review to ensure the profitability of its services at airports throughout the UK. They announced the withdrawal of 12 loss-making routes, launched two new routes, increased frequency on nine and reduced staffing by the equivalent of 500 full time positions. The changes were to bring £20m cost savings each year by 2004.

May: BA launched a summer promotion for Concorde return fares to New York. The special Concorde tickets went on sale for £3,999 representing savings of up to £3,867. The tickets were on sale throughout May.

British Airways signed a deal with easyJet for the sale of Deutsche BA (DBA), a subsidiary which flew exclusively in Germany. Under the terms of the deal BA granted easyJet the option to buy 100% of DBA by 31 March 2003. The deal was potentially worth between £18.3m (30m euros) and £28m (46m euros), dependent on when easyJet exercised the option.

June: British Airways and Finnair expanded their current codesharing arrangements by adding destinations in South Africa, Canada and the UK regions. The Finnair code was added to BA operated flights from London to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. British Airways also added its code to selected flights operated by Finnair.

British Airways cut European air fares by up to 80% on 42 routes. Saturday night stay and advance purchase restrictions were scrapped and prices slashed to from £59 return on domestic routes and £69 return to Europe. More than 50,000 air tickets at the lowest fare would be available every month on the 71 domestic and European routes, which also would have lower flexible fares and fewer booking restrictions.

July: A World Traveller Plus promotion was launched on 11 US destinations for passengers to travel for an extra £150 for a one-way upgrade in the airline's premier economy cabin. A return ticket to New York, Boston and Washington with a one-way upgrade to World Traveller Plus started from £399 including taxes (saving up to £74).

British Airways and its oneworld partner, Iberia, announced that they would be expanding their codesharing arrangements, resulting in new international destinations for each carrier. From 12 July, the Iberia code was added to connecting flights operated by British Airways from London Heathrow to Budapest, Nairobi and Singapore. At the same time, British Airways added its code to connecting flights operated by Iberia from its main hub in Madrid for travel on to Havana in Cuba and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

British Airways and SN Brussels Airlines announced that they were entering into a commercial relationship, subject to regulatory approvals. The agreement between the two carriers was to enable the SN Brussels flight code to be placed on all British Airways services between Brussels and London from 27 October. In addition to the codeshare, new ticketing arrangements were put in place to allow customers to benefit from improved access to each airline's network.

British Airways announced changes to its winter schedule for 2002, which included increased services to profitable destinations and further route transfers from London Gatwick to London Heathrow. These transfers were in line with the airline's Future Size and Shape strategy, unveiled in February 2002. Services to San Diego, Denver and Phoenix in the USA and Harare in Zimbabwe and Lusaka in Zambia moved from Gatwick to Heathrow's Terminal 4, a move which concentrated British Airways' African network at Heathrow. Flights to New York's JFK airport from Heathrow increased from six to seven daily sub-sonic services.

August: The launch of British Airways' winter longhaul sale saw thousands of discounted flight tickets to 49 far flung destinations, offering savings of up to £204. Prices started from just £239 for a return ticket to New York, Boston and Atlanta including taxes. Prices were reduced by up to 80% on flights to Spain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary and Luxembourg, completing the launch by the airline of year-round low fares on 170 key routes to Europe.

November: British Airways and American Airlines filed an application with the US Department of Transportation seeking US regulatory approval to offer certain codeshare services permitted under the current provisions of the US-UK air services agreement. The arrangement was to enable British Airways to place its code on American's flights beyond British Airways' US gateway cities to points in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. The application submitted by the two carriers excluded codesharing on each other's transatlantic services between the US and London.

December: British Airways switched its aircraft order with Airbus to receive 10 A321 aircraft instead of 12 A318 aircraft and three A319 aircraft. The airline's capital spend with Airbus for the orders placed in 1998 and 1999 remained unchanged. The move came as part of BA's fleet simplification strategy to base its Airbus fleet at London Heathrow and Gatwick airports and re-deploy its fleet of 16 110-seat RJ100 aircraft from Gatwick to British Airways CitiExpress at regional airports. British Airways announced that it would be simplifying and strengthening its UK regional operation.

British Airways CitiExpress was to operate for the first time from London City in April 2003 with the launch of three new routes. In addition British Airways was to give its key Manchester network a major boost with the introduction of three new routes and extra capacity. British Airways CitiExpress also signed a heads of terms with Eastern Airways with the intention of transferring its 12 strong fleet of 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft and its associated engineering hangar at Glasgow to the Humberside-based airline. This was the first part of an accelerated strategy to move to an all jet regional operation.

CitiExpress was to withdraw from 21 regional routes and would no longer fly from Cardiff and Leeds-Bradford airports.

2003

January: British Airways announced new routes from Gatwick and Manchester and increased services on routes to Europe.

February:  A three month internet trial began on a British Airways 747-400 aircraft, on services between London Heathrow and New York using Connexion by Boeing broadband system. Passengers could plug in their laptop from their seat and access personal and work emails, corporate intranets and the web.

British Airways, its oneworld partner Iberia and franchise partner GB Airways, announced new codeshare routes on services between London Heathrow and Seville, Valencia, Malaga, Santiago de Compostela and Bilbao and services between London, Gatwick and Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao.

British Airways and its oneworld partner Cathay Pacific Airways increased their code-share destinations with the announcement of extra code-share flights to Seoul, Copenhagen and Lisbon.

April: British Airways announced the retirement of its Concorde fleet of seven aircraft with effect from the end of October 2003.

British Airways launches a new direct air link from Glasgow to London City operated by its wholly owned subsidiary, British Airways CitiExpress, using 110 seat  RJ100 jet aircraft.  This followed the launch of flights from London City to Paris and Frankfurt at the end of March.

May: British Airways signed an agreement to sell its wholly owned German subsidiary dba to Intro Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, the Nuremburg-based aviation consultancy and investment company.

June: British Airways was named as the "best low cost airline" in an annual Guardian newspaper poll. 

July:  New services from Gatwick to Turin and Dubrovnik were announced.

August: The airline unveiled its first set of codeshare flights with oneworld partner American Airlines which would ultimately add more than 100 new destinations to its network.  These routes included Raleigh Durham, Nashville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Minneapolis St Paul, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Panama City and San Antonio.

24 October: British Airways withdrew Concorde, signalling the closure of the world’s only supersonic passenger services. The last scheduled commercial flight was BA2 from JFK operated by G-BOAG. BA’s fleet of seven aircraft were dispersed for preservation at Barbados (AE), Edinburgh (AA), Filton (AF), Manchester (AC), New York (AD) and Seattle (AG) with one (AB) remaining at Heathrow.

October: British Airways introduced the award-winning Club World flat bed as well as World Traveller Plus, its premier economy cabin, on services from London Gatwick to Houston, Dallas and Bermuda operated by Boeing 777s. 

December: British Airways, Iberia Airlines and BA franchise partner GB Airways were given exemption from competition legislation by the European Commission. The exemption allowed them to share airport facilities, extend code-sharing services, coordinate sales and marketing programmes, undertake joint network planning, coordinate capacity and pricing and cargo services.

2004

January: British Airways' first transatlantic codeshare flights with American Airlines to and from the UK regions opened for sale on daily flights from Manchester to New York and Chicago.

February: The airline announced the launch of wireless internet connections at 80 of its main customer lounges around the world giving instant internet and email access to users.

March: The airline's Heathrow flight switch programme was completed. Seven shorthaul services transferred from Heathrow Terminal 1 to Terminal 4 and five longhaul services transferred from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1 making it more convenient for transfer passengers to connect between longhaul and shorthaul flights.

A new feature on ba.com was launched enabling customers to request their own seats and special meals.

April: British Airways unveilled its new uniform created by leading British fashion designer Julien Macdonald for more than 25,000 staff including flight crew, cabin crew, dispatchers and check-in agents. 

Customers flying to Australia with British Airways and Qantas are able to use e-tickets for the first time. 

June: A record number of British Airways' customers used the online check-in facilities on ba.com, with more than 100,000 checking in from the comfort of their own home.

May: Her Majesty the Queen visited Heathrow Airport to mark the tenth anniversary of Change for Good, the fundraising partnership between British Airways and UNICEF which has raised over £18 million from donations of loose change from British Airways customers.  The money has directly benefited UNICEF's work to improve the lives of children in over 50 developing countries.

July: Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge retired as Chairman of British Airways at the company’s AGM. He was succeeded by Martin Broughton, previously the airline’s Vice-Chairman.

August: The Joint Services Agreement between British Airways and Qantas on the kangaroo routes is given draft approval for a five-year extension by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

December: British Airways launched its first drive-through check-in facility for Club World passengers and a new exclusive check-in and lounge for First passengers at Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados.

2005

March: Willie Walsh was announced as British Airways' new chief executive officer. Previously CEO of Aer Lingus, he would begin as chief executive designate on May 3. It had been announced that Rod Eddington would retire at the end of September at which stage Mr Walsh would become chief executive.

May: Prime Minister Tony Blair signed a British Airways Boeing 747 in support of London's bid to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. British Airways, a premier partner of the London 2012 bid, planned to collect in excess of 100,000 signatures on the aircraft that would carry the bid team to Singapore for the decision vote by the International Olympic Committee.

June: A five times a week service was launched between London Heathrow and Shanghai's Pudong airport operated by Boeing 777 aircraft. Services from London Heathrow to Beijing increased from four to six times per week and from  17 to 21 times a week to Hong Kong.

September: Rod Eddington, CEO, retired and was succeeded by Willie Walsh. Mike Street, OBE, director of customer service and operations, retired after 42 years service.

A new voluntary scheme was launched to enable customers to help offset the carbon dioxide emissions from their flights by making a contribution to an environmental trust.

October: British Airways' winter schedule included increased services from London Heathrow to India including a new service to Bangalore, twice daily flights to Mumbai, and six flights a week to Chennai. Flights from Birmingham to Rome and Vienna, operated by British Airways CitiExpress, were suspended.

November: Talks on a new transatlantic aviation agreement between the EU and US ended with some progress on aspects of the regulatory framework. No agreement was reached on market access and lifting restrictions on foreign ownership in US carriers. Interested parties were asked to comment and a final decision is expected in March 2006.

British Airways and The Tussauds Group signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing the sale of the airline's entire interests in the British Airways London Eye to the company for £95 million.

December: The withdrawal of BA's daily service from London Heathrow to Melbourne via Singapore from March 25, 2006, was announced. Melbourne flights will transfer to Qantas as part of the Joint Services Agreement

2006

January 2006:  British Airways CitiExpress renamed as BA Connect with a major revamp of fares and routes.

Boeing 777 G-VIIO became the last aircraft to be repainted with the Union Flag on its tailfin, replacing the World Images designs.

February 2006: British Airways pledged to assist with investigations into price fixing in the cargo industry.

British Airways sells its interest in the London Eye to the Tussauds Group

Japan Airlines (JAL) to join the oneworld alliance

March 2006: New routes announced from London Gatwick to Reykjavik (Iceland), Tirana (Albania), Varna (Bulgaria), Izmir (Turkey), Kiev (Ukraine) and Athens (Greece).

A British Airways Boeing 777-200 set a world record for the longest non-stop commercial flight, of 9,274 miles, from Brussels to Melbourne, a charter flight for British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Commanded by Captain Rod Mitchell, the flight took 18 hours 45 minutes.

BA Connect’s first flight takes off.

April 2006: BA introduced service between London Heathrow and Bangalore, and a second daily service to Delhi

Self-service check-in introduced for domestic flights.

BA Connect launched new route from Belfast City airport to Birmingham.

A BA Boeing 747 (commanded by Captain Dave Meggs) diverted to Kazakhstan, due to a cargo fire warning light.

May 2006: BA Connect started service between London City airport and Milan.

An Airbus A380 visited London Heathrow.

June 2006: BA closed Caribbean Call Centres.

Heathrow airport celebrated 60 years.

Aer Lingus ends oneworld membership

BA Connect launched new service from Bristol International Airport to Düsseldorf.

Flight BA9200C flew the England football team from Luton Airport to Karlsruhe, Germany to take part in the World Cup Tournament.

Malév signed codeshare agreement with British Airways.

Baggage policies to be radically overhauled.

BA scooped Airline of the Year 2006 award at the annual Skytrax World airline Awards.

British Airways assisted the Office of Fair Trading and United States Department of Justice with an investigation into alleged cartel activity in relation to passenger fares and fuel surcharges.

July 2006: The last of 14 Boeing 767s completes its upgrade of beds and seats.

Agreement was reached between BA and the trade unions to merge the longhaul and shorthaul cabin crew at Gatwick into a single cabin crew force to operate all flights thus achieving an estimated saving of over £13m.

Prince Philip was given a special tour of the construction work under way of Terminal 5, then 80% complete.

August 2006: A six-year project to move BA’s entire fleet to a new computerised maintenance system (designated EWS) was completed; the last aircraft to transfer to the new system was a Boeing 747-400.

BA franchise partner BMED announces new routes to Freetown (Sierra Leone) and Dakar (Senegal).

BA’s last Travel Clinic, in Piccadilly, closes.

Staff were invited to have their say about British Airways in the first company-wide employee research survey in more than five years.

British Airways swept the board at the prestigious Business Traveller Awards ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel, winning the trophies for Best Airline, Best Shorthaul Airline, Best Frequent Flyer Programme, Best First Class, Best Longhaul airline and Best Economy Class.

September 2006: In a mid-air emergency during a flight from London to Boston, a passenger gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 35,000ft.

British Airways to close Travel Shops and Call Centre in Belfast.

October 2006: BA took the first steps to acquiring new longhaul aircraft to enable growth and fleet replacement into the next decade. The airline launched a competition among aircraft and engine manufacturers asking them to submit proposals by the end of the year. Airbus and Boeing, and engine manufacturers Engine Alliance, General Electric and Rolls Royce were all invited to bid, along with other key component suppliers.

The Compass Centre was officially marketed to new tenants after BA formally announced that it would be quitting the building when it relocates its operations to Waterside and Terminal 5.

November 2006: BA reached agreement in principle to sell the regional operations of BA Connect to Flybe. Willie Walsh said that point-to-point regional operations are not a strategic part of the business and that such activities are better undertaken by a regional low cost carrier. However, BA would have a 15% investment in Flybe on completion of the disposal.

A new ‘turndown’ service is to be one of a series of improvements in BA’s First class experience

More than 1,500 people attended the launch of British Airways’ new Club World at a spectacular three-day event in London. Those present had the chance to see the new flat-bed seat along with a host of new features including the Club Kitchen and the high-tech Audio Visual on Demand (AVOD) system.

BA announced new routes for Summer 2007 to Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), Dresden (Germany) and Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina).

December 2006: A major milestone was reached for BA’s e-ticket project, when 90% of customers travelled with an e-ticket during November. BA first introduced e-tickets in 1997 and the project team worked hard to enable them to be used on more journeys.

2007

January 2007: Uniform rules were amended to allow staff to openly wear symbols of faith.

February 2007: Four new Boeing 777-200ER (extended range) aircraft were ordered by British Airways. The airline also took options on four more. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2009, eight years after BA last took delivery of longhaul aircraft.

March 2007: It was announced that Terminal 5 will open on March 27, 2008.

ba.com smashed through the billion pound barrier in flight sales for the first time in one financial year. A flurry of activity meant that the milestone was passed earlier than expected.

April 2007: Tickets for the first flights from T5 went on sale. Around 75000 were available for customers wanting to travel in and out of the airline’s new home.

BA scooped the Airline of the Year accolade at the prestigious OAG awards. It was the first time the airline had won the title. BA also won best airline based in western Europe, best transatlantic airline, and best European airline to Asia/Australia.

May 2007: Plans for a new business to operate between the US and key European business cities were announced. The plan stemmed from the ‘open skies’ treaty between the EU and the US, which allowed airlines to offer services from any city in the EU to any city in the US and vice versa.

All 6000 ground staff involved in the move to T5signed up to new working practices. A final staff ballot on the changes showed overwhelming support for new, more efficient ways of working.

June 2007: The campaign for the expansion of London Heathrow was boosted when BAA joined Future Heathrow, the group calling for a third runway and lobbying for sustainable growth.

July 2007: Nearly 200 flights were cancelled following a security alert at Terminal 4 at London Heathrow. The alert was caused by a suspect bag and saw the evacuation of the terminal. It came after the UK’s terrorist threat level was placed on ‘critical’ after incidents in London and Glasgow.

August 2007: A fine of around £270m was imposed on BA by UK and US authorities for infringement of competition laws. Chief Executive Willie Walsh condemned the behaviour of a number of individuals who ignored the company’s competition policy.

September 2007: Terminal 5 at London Heathrow was handed over to British Airways by BAA marking the move from the construction phase to ‘operational readiness’. Six months of proving trials also began to test all areas of the operation at the terminal.

British Airways announced orders for 12 Airbus A380 and 24 Boeing 787 aircraft. The aircraft will be delivered between 2010 and 2014 and the airline took out options on a further seven A380s and 18 B787s.

November 2007: The first trial using an aircraft took place at terminal 5. The event was another major milestone, wit a Boeing 747 used in a turnround trial at the satellite terminal T5B. Baggage, cargo, catering and fuelling operations were all tested.

The government launched a public consultation on the expansion of London Heathrow.

December 2007: Hundreds of staff took part in the biggest ever trial at terminal 5. More than 1250 volunteer ‘customers’ put the terminal through its paces People were assigned to different areas of the building and took on a variety of customer roles.

BA was named the world’s leading airline at the prestigious 2007 World Traveller Awards. More than 160,000 travel professionals from 190 different countries voted online for the awards, which aim to recognise outstanding achievement within the global travel industry.

2008

January 2008: ‘Open Skies’ was announced as the name for BA’s new subsidiary airline flying between the United States and Europe. Operating with a B757 aircraft, it would carry up to 82 customers on each flight. Its name celebrated the first step towards a liberated US/EU aviation market, meaning airlines can fly between any US and EU destination.

Flight and cabin crew were hailed as heroes when a Boeing 777 with 152 customers and crew was involved in an incident on landing at London Heathrow. Twelve people suffered minor injuries when the aircraft, inbound from Beijing, came down short of the southern runway. People across the airline were also praised for their efforts helping customers following the incident.

February 2008: British Airways said it would play a key role in helping to make the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games ever after being named as proud airline partner. BA said it would invest £40m over four years. The value of the deal was made up of travel for athletes, a charter for the Torch Relay in 2012 and a financial contribution. Staff would also be able to play their part in the festival of sporting excellence.

BA became the first airline to be accredited to offer cabin crew a professional qualification. New entrants on the cabin crew training programme can now obtain a National Vocational Qualification level two – equivalent to five GCSEs. This move was a result of BA achieving City and Guilds approved centre status.

March 2008: BA made history as the first international airline to land at the new Beijing Capital International Airport.

Engineers from British Airways handled maintenance for the first Airbus A380 to fly into a UK airport. The Singapore Airlines’ passenger service touched down at Heathrow.

Her Majesty the Queen officially opened T5, calling it “a 21st Century gateway to the world”. The celebration was televised live in the UK. However, the opening day on March 27 did not go as planned with a number of factors causing problems for customers and staff. Chief Executive Willie Walsh apologised, saying “We got things wrong and I’m sorry.” However, he remained upbeat about the terminal’s long-term future.

April 2008: Willie Walsh visited London Gatwick to announce a new service to New York JFK would begin later in the year.

May 2008: A new fleet of eco-friendly cars helped reinforce British Airways’ green credentials. An order was placed for more than 100 Honda Civic hybrids which combine meeting the highest targets for vehicle emissions with greater fuel economy. The vehicles were bought to replace the current fleet of job-essential cars and will be used by the airline’s sales force.

Shorthaul flight and Eurofleet cabin crew successfully moved into the new Crew Report Centre in Terminal 5.

Staff were praised for helping British Airways make history after he airline delivered a 10% operating margin for the first time.

June 2008: Services to and from eight destinations moved into T5 from T4. Flights to and from Abuja, Bangalore, Beijing, Cairo, Cape Town, Lagos New York JFK and Phoenix were the first to move since BA announced it was phasing the transfer of its longhaul programme into the terminal.

Open Skies launched its first commercial flight between Paris Orly and New York JFK.

July 2008: BA announced it was in merger talks with Iberia.

August 2008: Terminal 5 was the star of a new advertising campaign. It focussed on the customer experience and demonstrated how well the terminal is performing.

BA, Iberia and American Airlines filed for worldwide anti-trust immunity (ATI) from the US Department of Transportation as the carriers signed a joint business agreement. The deal covers flights between North America and Europe and the airlines said they plan to expand their global cooperation.

Britain’s brilliant Olympic team arrived home from Beijing onboard a BA 747 sporting a specially painted gold nose cone and the message ‘Proud to bring our British heroes home’ emblazoned on the fuselage.

September 2008: More than 100 top businesses publicly declared their support for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Punctuality levels during the summer were revealed as some of the best figures seen for 20 years. The figures showed strong improvements at Heathrow across the three terminals used by the airline. Punctuality at Gatwick was also at the highest level seen for many years and teams around the world also reported strong figures.

October 2008: The final move of BA flights into Terminal 5 was heralded as a success. Staff were thanked for their hard work in ensuring the final switch went smoothly. Just days after the move, the terminal recorded it’s busiest day yet with more than 76000 customers using it’s state-of-the-art facilities.

Celebrations marked the 50th anniversary of the first-ever transatlantic flight by a commercial jet, a BOAC Comet 4 in 1958. BA marked that aviation milestone with a special recreation of the flight.

November 2008: A major review was launched to help BA cope with the unprecedented conditions crippling the industry. The airline’s half-year results for April to September showed operating profit down 75 per cent to £140m.

December 2008: BA revealed it was in talks with Australian flag carrier Qantas about a possible 50/50 merger. The talks later fell through.

Customers in India and Thailand looked to BA when terror attacks in Mumbai and political protests in Bangkok severely disrupted travel.

2009

January 2009: Willie Walsh outlined British Airways’ proposals to combat the worsening world financial crisis, following IATA traffic figures for November 2008 and claimed the situation facing airlines as a chronic crisis, with revenues tumbling and thousands of jobs at risk.

Expansion at Heathrow could include a new rail hub and a third runway under plans being drawn up by the government.

The oneworld alliance became the first in the travel industry to sell multi-airline round-the-world tickets online.

From 19 January franchise partner Sun Air launched a daily service from London City airport to Billund, Denmark using Dornier 328 aircraft in BA livery.

BA CityFlyer placed an order for 11 new generation Embraer 190SRs and 170s, to enter service in September 2009 replacing current Avro RJ100s and R185s.

The UK government decided to approve a third runway at Heathrow. Chief Executive Willie Walsh has called for people to work together to create a world-class airport that Britain deserves.

British Airways launches a new weekly service from London Gatwick to St Kitts.

A New five times a week service was introduced between London Heathrow and Hyderabad (India).

British Airways became the first UK airline to announce the introduction of a live communications service on transatlantic flights.

BA celebrated 75 years of service to Greece, and was named Best Foreign Carrier in the country.

February 2009: Operations were severely disrupted at the beginning of the month because of the heaviest snowfalls for many years in the south-east of the United Kingdom,

BA flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Helsinki and Nice moved from Heathrow Terminal 1 to Terminal 3.

The oneworld alliance celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Chief Executive Willie Walsh outlined why urgent action was needed to control the airline’s costs, along with improving the customer experience and operational performance. Announcing the airline’s results for the first nine months of the financial year, Willie said that the figures were a stark warning of the unprecedented trading conditions BA is facing.

One woman’s dream was still going strong. More than 50friends and sponsors of Sreepur Village flew to Bangladesh to help former crew member Pat Kerr celebrate the 20th anniversary of the project.

Sir Chris Hoy said that the British Airways-backed Great Britons programme and UK Sport partnership was “incredible and imperative.” He added “It is absolutely imperative that we invest in talent now. If we don’t take the time to invest, then we will not get the results.”

March 2009: The Boeing 747 celebrated 40 years since its first ever flight, of 75 minutes over Washington State, in 1969.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown flew to Washington DC on a chartered BA Boeing 777 for meetings with President Obama. Mr Brown was the first European premier to meet the newly-elected President.

As Terminal 5 celebrated its first anniversary more customers were very happy about flying with British Airways than ever before.

Services between London and Toulouse and Atlanta were transferred to Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at the start of the summer schedule.

Fighting fog delays with microwave technology was introduced by British Airways to reduce disruption at Heathrow Airport.

April 2009: British Airways took delivery at BAMC Cardiff of its Boeing 777-200ER G-YMMR, the first new longhaul aircraft delivered to BA since 2001.

Open Skies completed its merger with L’Avion.

British Airways announced it will give away up to £15m worth of free flights, aimed at helping small and medium sized British businesses to beat the recession.

May 2009: British Airways was named Best Business Class, Best First Class and Best Shorthaul Airline at the 2009 Ultratravel Awards.

Cool, calm and collected approach to the global swine flu outbreak won plaudits. The outbreak began in Mexico last month and teams across the airline have been commended for support to customers and staff.

British Airways began a three-month trial offering complimentary black cabs and executive cars for full fare premium customers.

Experts voted user-friendly ba.com best airline website.

British Airways became the first airline to be given a top environmental accreditation for its properties.

June 2009: Russian carrier S7 Airlines joined oneworld alliance.

British Airways returned to Saudi Arabia with five weekly services to Jeddah and Riyadh.

BA announced the introduction, from 29 September, of the first ever longhaul route from London City Airport to New York JFK using Airbus A318s in a special 32-seat Club World configuration.

July 2009: British Airways worked with airport authority BAA to reduce the airline’s annual spend.

BA creates a new team at British Airways World Cargo (BAWC) to ensure that the airline increases vital business for its premium products. The move reflected the relatively strong performance in the market for specialist items including pharmaceuticals, currency, perishables, pets and livestock and mail.

At BA’s Annual General Meeting, shareholders were told of talks with institutional investors about increasing its cash reserves during the greatest crisis the industry ever faced.

August 2009: Open Skies suspended its service between Amsterdam and New York to focus on the Paris to New York route.

BA colleagues celebrate 90 years flying with expense and style. Messages of congratulations were received from the Queen and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

September 2009: BA launched a new advertising campaign with the headline message “get onboard and grasp a world of opportunities.”

BA named Best Business Class Airline by readers of Conde Naste Traveller magazine. Willie Walsh described it as ‘a fantastic achievement.’

The first of a fleet of 76-seat Embraer 170 aircraft, for use on BA CityFlyer’s routes from London City, was delivered. Peter Simpson, managing director of Cityflyer, said “This is a significant milestone for us as we completely modernise our fleet, replacing 40-year-old technology with greener, state-of-the art aircraft.”

BA launched its new transatlantic service (London City to New York) that provides a stylish office in the sky for business people.

October 2009: Chief Executive Willie Walsh celebrated the return on 1 June of BA direct services between Heathrow and Jeddah and Riyadh after a four-year break.

BA boosted its position in the leisure market with its new route between Heathrow and Las Vegas; new services from Gatwick for the winter included Montego Bay (Jamaica), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Male (Maldives) Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and Innsbruck (Austria).

BA’s punctuality in October was higher than for any single month since records began in 1985.

An era ended at the end of October when more than 23 years of operation at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 came to an end. Terminal 4 had been opened officially by TRH Prince and Princess of Wales on 1 April 1986.

November 2009: The merger of British Airways and Iberia took an important step forward after the two oneworld partner airlines signed a binding memorandum of understanding. Both airlines were to keep their individual brands, heritage and current operations with the merger expected to be completed later in 2010 once the necessary approvals were completed. It was the biggest corporate deal BA has ever been involved in.

December 2009: BA supported industry emissions deal at a vital climate change conference at Copenhagen.

Boxes packed with children’s operations gown designed by Blue Peter were flown out free by British Airways.

British Airways backed oneworld’s rescue package to ensure that Japan Airlines (JAL) stays with the alliance.