Explore our past: 2010 - present

British Airways Boeing 787-dreamliner in the air.
Explore our past: 2010

British Airways celebrated 80 years of flying to India.

May OpenSkies, British Airways’ all-business class subsidiary, made its maiden flight, from Paris Orly to Washington Dulles on 3 May.

On 23 June British Airways introduced a new cabin crew team at Heathrow, Mixed Fleet. This team operates a mix of both long and short haul routes and is additional to existing cabin crew teams who operate either long or short-haul routes.


On 29 June, British Airways and Iberia signed a merger plan document. This set out the legal steps that were required once shareholder approval was given at the end of November that year.


Flying Start was launched on 30 June. This is British Airways’ new global charity partnership with Comic Relief replacing the ‘Change for Good’ partnership with UNICEF.

August On 31 August, the new Boeing 777-300ER made its inaugural commercial flight, to Mumbai. It featured all-new cabins and a new in-flight entertainment system.

The transatlantic joint business agreement between British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines was signed on 29 September and commenced on 1 October.

On 13 September, a new route from London City Airport to Copenhagen was launched.


The last three Boeing 757s were retired from service.

Explore our past: 2011

The merger between British Airways and Iberia was completed on 21 January forming International Airlines Group (IAG). Willie Walsh took up the position of Chief Executive of IAG and Keith Williams became Executive Chairman of British Airways within the IAG group.

On 24 January, IAG shares started trading in both London and Madrid.

British Airways Maintenance at Cardiff (BAMC) pioneered and introduced a new Seat Crane to facilitate more efficient removal and replacement of aircraft seats after servicing.

February British Airways launched a new Heathrow to Tokyo route on 19 February to Haneda. British Airways then served two Tokyo airports; Haneda and Narita.

Heston Blumenthal’s series ‘Heston’s Mission Impossible’ was aired on TV on 8 March. This included a look at the catering challenges faced by British Airways when serving food at 30,000 feet.

On 12 March, as part of Red Nose Day, 188 people joined comedians Dara O’ Briain, Jack Whitehall and Jon Richardson on board a British Aircraft for the ‘Highest Comedy Gig in the Sky’ at 35,000 feet. The ‘Smile High Gig’ raised almost £100,000.

On 27 March, British Airways inaugurated a non-stop service from Heathrow to Buenos Aires.


Heathrow – Terminal 5 C opened for business. This was the third and final part of the T5 building and operational programme.

British Airways and Iberia Cargo operations were merged to become IAG Cargo. The new combined cargo business became a unit reporting directly to IAG.


British Airways Engineering hosted Open Days at the Heathrow base in early September. This included, for the first time, a customer day.


A major new brand and advertising campaign was launched at the end of September. This was based on the British Airways motto of ‘To Fly, To Serve’ and included a unique TV advert called ‘Aviators’, which was premiered on Facebook – a first for the airline.

November On 16 November, the Executive Club was relaunched and Avios replaced Air Miles as the currency for this loyalty programme.
Explore our past: 2012

British Airways introduced a special blend of Twinings English Breakfast tea for customers on board flights.


On 18 January, the ‘Dove’ design of the British Airways Olympic and Paralympic Games aircraft was unveiled. The design, chosen by Tracey Emin, transformed the aircraft into the bird of peace, and was designed by up and coming British designer Pascal Anson.


On 20 January, British Airways celebrated 80 years of flying between London and Cape Town. In 1932 it took the Imperial Airways multi plane service 11 days to complete the journey.

Sir Ross Stainton former Chairman of British Airways died aged 97.

February The Race, British Airways’ new 60-second TV commercial, was unveiled on 8 February it featured suitcases from different countries racing through the baggage system to herald the run up to the London 2012 Olympics.

British Airways through its own staff initiatives and also on board collections raised £1.8 million towards the Sport Relief total of £50 million during March.

On 26 March, British Airways launched a Long-haul service between London and Moscow. This replaced the previous short haul offering so for the first time customers could enjoy the Club World flat beds on the four hour flights.

IAG and JAL agreed a Joint Business arrangement to come into effect in October. This covered a joint business on Eastern routes via Siberia.

British Airways City Flyer became the first airline to offer self-service baggage tagging at London City Airport.


IAG finalised the purchase of bmi following EC approval on 31 March.

The winning creation in the art category of the Great Britons campaign, the Dove, was featured as a new livery for nine aircraft in the lead up to the Olympics.


British Airways flew the Olympic Flame from Athens to the Naval Air Station, Culdrose in Cornwall on 18 May. A flame lighting ceremony took place on the tarmac following its arrival on an Airbus A319 named ‘Firefly’ reflecting its unique livery.


On 19 June, OpenSkies introduced a three-class service with an Eco cabin joining the Biz Bed and Premium Plus cabins.

Launch of the ‘Home Advantage’ tactical advertising campaign linked closely to the London Olympics. First TV ad on ITV on 19 June had a Boeing 777 complete with customers taxiing through London to the Olympic Park.


Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge, former Chairman and Chief Executive of British Airways, died on 5 July aged 78.


On 27 July, the London Olympic Games began and British Airways Park Live facility was opened for visitors to relax in and enjoy watching the action on giant TV screens.


The Olympic Games closed on 12 August and British Airways announced that over 400,000 people had visited ‘Park Live’ during the Games.

September ‘Firefly’, the British Airways aircraft that flew in the Olympic flame performed a fly-past over The Mall as part of the Greatest Team Parade to celebrate the success of the British Olympic and Paralympic teams.

IAG and JAL launched their new joint business arrangement.


On 27 October, the very last bmi commercial flight touched down at Heathrow. This was part of the full integration of bmi into British Airways.


On 19 November, the British Airways ‘Best of British’ event raised over £75,000 for the Flying Start charity enterprise. Gary Barlow led a roll call of stars including Stacey Solomon, John Culshaw and Matt Cardle who performed at the event.


The inauguration of British Airways services to Seoul took place on 3 December.


On 4 December, British Airways won both Best Short Haul and Best Long Haul categories in the Sunday Times Travel Magazine Reader’s Awards.

Explore our past: 2013

Launch, on 10 January, of a new tea blend adapted to work at 35,000 feet created exclusively by Twinings for British Airways.

February Launch of hand baggage only air fares on some routes from Gatwick from 19 February and all Gatwick flights from 12 March. On 25 February, British Airways was voted top airline in the Consumer Superbrands listing.

British Airways increased its London to Shanghai schedule to a daily service from 31 March.


On 11 March, British Airways had a ‘Gig in the Sky’ to raise money for Comic Relief. This event made it into the Guinness Book of Records as Highest Concert at 43,000 feet.


Vueling, a low cost Spanish airline, was taken over by IAG on 23 April.


British Airways celebrated 10 years at London City Airport on 2 April.


British Airways won an award for its Home Advantage campaign run during British Airways sponsorship of the 2012 Olympics. This was at the Marketing Week Engage Award In the ‘Travel and Leisure’ category on 22 May.


On 11 June, of British Airways launched Service Hallmarks for staff to enhance and deliver new customer service standards.


On 14 June, British Airways passed the £5m mark in the total raised by Flying Start for Comic Relief since it began in June 2010.


From 17-21 June, British Airways was featured in a BBC2 programme ‘Airport Live’. The programme included some pre-recorded as well as live segments and involved many British Airways staff.


Arrival of British Airways first Boeing 787 – Dreamliner – at London Airport on 27 June.


Arrival of British Airways’ first Airbus 380 at London Airport on 4 July.


Inauguration of new service from London City Airport to Granada in Spain on 25 July.


First commercial revenue flight by Airbus A380 from London to Frankfurt on 2 August.


First commercial revenue flight by Boeing 787 from London to Stockholm on 12 August.


First Boeing 787 long-haul commercial service from London to Toronto on 1 September.


Lifetime recognition is introduced for Executive Club members on 10 September.


New ‘To Fly. To Serve’ advertising campaign was launched on 6 September. This is one of a series of ‘To Fly. To Serve’ initiatives and focussed on the £5bn which the airline is investing.


Thrice weekly services to Chengdu started on 22 September.


First commercial flight of Airbus A380 from London to Los Angeles on 24 September.


First Boeing 787 long-haul commercial service from London to Newark on 1 October.


First commercial flight of Airbus A380 from London to Hong Kong on 22 October.


On 22 November, British Airways celebrated 80 years of flying to Singapore with a fashion show in which local British Airways cabin crew modelled several generations of uniforms.


British Airways launched an interactive advertising campaign on 19 November. The #Lookup campaign saw children on billboards point to and identify British Airways aircraft and their flight numbers as they flew overhead.


British Airways became the first airline in Europe to allow its passengers to use their hand held electronic devices during all aspects of flight such as taxiing or take off.


Davina McCall hosted a star-studded ‘milestone in the sky’ event to celebrate British Airways raising more than £6m for Flying Start/Comic Relief.

Explore our past: 2014

Keith Williams, British Airways’ Chief Executive became British Airways’ Executive Chairman on 1 January.


British Airways Maintenance Glasgow completed work on its 500th Airbus aircraft on 30 January; an important milestone. A special event took place to celebrate this achievement.


British Airways backing for Sport Relief got underway on 30 January with a cha-cha session at Waterside. British Airways had set itself a target of raising £2m during 2014 through Flying Start for Comic Relief.


First British Airways commercial flight of an Airbus A380 to Johannesburg on 13 February.


British Airways was named as Consumer Superbrand of the Year for 2014. The airline was the first airline or travel enterprise to top this poll beating well known global brands such as Coca-Cola, Apple and Kellogs.


The inaugural British Airways flight to Austin, Texas took place on 3 March.


On Sunday 23 March hundreds of British Airways employees took part in the Sport Relief mile through the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to help raise money for Flying Start, British Airways’ partnership with Comic Relief.


As a result of Sport Relief activities British Airways raised the sum of £2.4m.


British Airways launched hand baggage only day-tripper fares form London on many European routes.


British Airways launched short-haul Club (Business) leisure fares on 12 March. These are up to 50 per cent lower than existing Club fares.


On 1 April, Finnair joined the Siberian Joint Business adding to the existing British Airways/JAL link up. The joint business means the airlines are permitted to discuss and share revenues on the specified routes.


The airline celebrated the 40 year anniversary since forming as British Airways on 1 April.


British Airways trialled Fish and Chips on a selection of short-haul routes from 14 April.


On 15 April, Solena Fuels confirmed that it will build the world’s first facility to convert waste into jet fuel in partnership with British Airways. The plant will be to the East of London.


On 21 May it was announced that a team of nine British Airways apprentices had been selected as finalists in the Brathay Apprentice Challenge.


British Airways started flying between Edinburgh and Ibiza on 23 May; Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman was on hand to celebrate the launch with staff.


The Glasgow Flying Start Ball raised an Impressive £40,000 for British Airways’ official charity Comic Relief.


The first episode of a three-part weekly BBC documentary about British Airways was aired 2 June. This was called ‘A Very British Airline’ and was produced by Lion TV. The first episode was watched by 2.8m viewers.


On 16 June, the airline announced changes to its short-haul cabin which would be introduced on 94 aircraft from October 2014. The new design featured new charcoal coloured seating, with more knee space for customers and the addition of a seat-back tablet holder, so that customers can watch films easily on their own devices.


British Airways flight codes were added to 174 Vueling services on 18 June under a code-share agreement. Vueling is owned by IAG as are British Airways and Iberia.


The first of 95 aircraft which are due to be refitted with new short-haul cabin made its debut with a flight to Venice on 4 July.


On 22 July, British Airways unveiled a refreshed First check-in area in Terminal 5 with a range of new enhancements.


Also on 22 July, British Airways opened a new Crisis Management Centre. This state-of-the-art unit is activated in the event of an incident or major disruption and will also be used as a training facility.


British Airways’ Fun Run on 24 July, raised over £11,000 in support of Cancer Research UK.


A team of nine British Airways apprentices came third in the Brathay Apprenticeship Challenge finals held in the Lake District. There were 110 teams when the challenge began.


British Airways announced that customers may hold provisional bookings for 72 hours for as little as £5 short-haul and £10 long-haul. If they choose to confirm the booking then the deposit is refunded.


From 23 September, airBaltic became a British Airways codeshare partner on routes between Riga and Gatwick.


On 11 September, British Airways had an ‘Around the World in 8 days’ event in order to raise funds for Flying Start.


British Airways was named as regional runner-up in the National Apprenticeship Awards in a ceremony at City Hall, London on 23 September. British Airways was also named as one of the top 100 employers in respect of apprenticeship schemes.


On 16 September, British Airways inaugurated a Boeing 787 service to Calgary.


On 30 September, British Airways opened a brand new lounge at Washington Dulles airport and this coincided with the inauguration of the Airbus A380 service from London.


British Airways kicked off the ‘Around the World in 8 days’ fund-raising challenge on 11 September. British Airways colleagues ran, pedalled, rowed, walked and swam to complete the challenge with two days to spare.


On 27 October, British Airways began services to Chennai with a Boeing 787.


On 29 October, British Airways inaugurated Airbus A380 services to Singapore and Gwyneth Paltrow was on hand to help the celebrations.


It was announced that Flying Start, British Airways charity partnership with Comic Relief had raised over £9m since its launch in June 2010.


A new service which enables Premium passengers to pre-order their main course was announced on 18 November. It launched on six long-haul routes with more to be added in 2015.


On 28 November, It was announced that Executive Club membership cards will have a digital facility to enable their use with mobile smart phones on Apple and Android devices.


British Airways launched a new Rail/Air ticket scheme on 5 December. This is the result of an agreement with two rail companies to enable customers to book a combined Rail and Air ticket for journeys from Wales and the West of England to Heathrow and then on to a British Airways flight.


From 17 December, British Airways became the first airline to be granted approval to overhaul its own Airbus A380 evacuation slides.


British Airways Interiors Engineering located at Blackwood in South Wales will carry out the work.


On 18 December, British Airways unveiled its new Galleries Lounge at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.


During December, British Airways Community Learning Centre (CLC) welcomed its 100,000 young visitor since its opening in 1999.

Explore our past: 2015

IAG submitted a proposal to make an offer for Aer Lingus, which was rejected.


British Airways is voted favourite airline in the 2015 Travel Weekly Globe awards.


Changes to the Executive Club were announced at the end of January. From 28 April 2015 BA will guarantee that a specific number of seats in Economy and Business will be will be available for booking with Avios. In addition, many seats will be able to be booked with fewer Avios. Off-peak pricing on many routes will be introduced so that reward flights can be bought with fewer Avios.


BA was named as both the UKs number one Consumer Superbrand and also number one Business Superbrand, thus becoming only the second company to top both polls at the same time.


On 13 March events were held across the airline to celebrate Red Nose Day for Comic Relief. One event was the re-creation of one of BA’s most iconic ads, the massive face complete with the winking eye and in this instance with a red nose as well.


British Airways was ranked in the top three most attractive employers in Britain following a survey a recruitment agency of nearly 11,000 employees in 26 industries.


23 March marked the 80th anniversary of flying to Hong Kong which was celebrated in Hong Kong with a VIP gala and a fashion photoshoot with model David Gandy.


The first anniversary of the Siberian Joint Business agreement between BA and JAL.


The first ever BA Customer Service apprenticeship scheme was launched. Trainees do a year at Heathrow followed by a year as Mixed Fleet cabin crew.


Sharklet wing tips fitted to 10 Airbus A320 aircraft.


From 12 May, a pre-paid World Traveller meals service was introduced. Passengers can purchase an enhanced World Traveller meal as an alternative to the normal menu.


BA returned to Kuala Lumpur on 28 May for the first time since services were terminated in 2001. BA first served Kuala Lumpur from Dec 1933.


From 25 June, British Airways became one of the main features at the Kidzania children’s town at London’s Westfield Shopping Centre. This is a town in miniature and offers children the opportunity to take part in around 60 activities. The Aviation Academy is the activity which features BA.


British Airways commenced work on a cabin upgrade to 18 B747s

On 27 July. This involved a decor refresh, an additional 16 Club World seats and an improved IFE system.


On the 11th, the Nepal Earthquake Disaster Emergency Committee thanked BA for raising over £320,000 for the appeal which included on-board donations from lots of customers.


A new hand baggage policy came into being on 18 August. This introduced a more consistent approach and was introduced to improve punctuality.


On 30 September, BAs first Boeing 787-9 arrived at Heathrow following its delivery from Boeing’s plant in Seattle.


Also on the same day BAs last Boeing 737 service landed at Gatwick from Turin. British Airways operated Boeing 737s for 35 years.


On the 15th, the first refreshed Boeing 747 left Heathrow for New York following refit at BAMC (BA Maintenance Cardiff). It features; latest Panasonic in-flight entertainment system, larger screens, more content.


BA commenced operating long-haul services from Heathrow’s Terminal 3 on 15th. In all 21 routes were to be served from T3, including 8 long-haul destinations.


On 25th, BA inaugurated its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner service to Delhi.


BA wins Best Short-Haul carrier, Frequent Flyer Programme and Lounges at the Business Traveller Awards.


BA celebrated 20 years online with BA.Com which was launched on Christmas Eve 24 December 1995.

BA was named as both the UKs number one Consumer Superbrand and also number one Business Superbrand, thus becoming only the second company to top both polls at the same time.

Explore our past: 2016

British Airways is voted favourite airline in the 2016 Travel Weekly Globe awards.


The 21st marked the 40th anniversary of the first commercial flight of Concorde to Bahrain in 1976.


British Airways unveiled its new lounge in the newly built Concourse D at Dubai international airport.


A £1m refresh got underway at BAs First and Club South lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5.


British Airways was named the UK’s No 1 Consumer and Business Superbrand 2016. BA has topped the Consumer list for the last three years and the Business list for the last two.


Alex Cruz takes up the post of Executive Chairman at BA succeeding Keith Williams.


British Airways began flying from Stansted Airport on 28 May with services to four short-haul destinations in Spain and Portugal.


BA’s new cabin crew bases in Shanghai and Beijing became fully operational.


BA’s annual Fun Run took place on 21st. This event has now raised over £1m for Cancer Research UK over the years.


British Airways i360, the wolrd’s tallest moving observation tower opened on the seafront at Brighton on the South Coast. Visitors ascend 138 metres to a glass viewing pod.


On 23rd August, the Team GB athletes returned from Rio on a Gold-nosed BA Boeing 747 aircraft named ‘VictorRIOus’. The GB Paralympic team came back later in September.


British Airways Work Experience programme received a Gold Standard from the accreditation body, Fair Tran.


On the 10th, BA welcomed 800 students as part of National Work Experience Week. The youngsters experienced roles in Customer Services, Cargo and Engineering.


Passenger’s on the inaugural Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight to Moscow were entertained on board by a performance featuring dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet accompanied by Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE.


16th October saw the 30th anniversary of Dreamflight. This is an annual event which enables around 200 disabled children to go on a 10 day trip to Florida.


Flying Start BA’s charity fund raising initiative with Comic Relief passed its £14m target. This has been achieved in a little over 6 years.

BA was named as both the UKs number one Consumer Superbrand and also number one Business Superbrand, thus becoming only the second company to top both polls at the same time.