There can be few world-class companies that boast the heritage and traditions inherent in the British Airways brand. Indeed, the company that became British Airways operated the world's first commercial scheduled airline service in 1919. From the early days of aviation through to more recent times, British Airways has stood for high standards of quality and professionalism.
Curator of the British Airways Heritage Collection Paul Jarvis guides the reader through the story of the company from its earliest origins to the present. In this full-colour illustrated history, we see how the whole experience of flying has changed over the years: the aeroplanes, the interiors, the uniforms, the advertising and much more.
In 1976 a Jersey-based air taxi operator purchased two elderly Dakota aircraft for cargo charters as Air Atlantique. Thus began the saga of an airline that would eventually operate one of the largest fleets of Dakotas in the world, acquire four-engined vintage propliners, diversify into passenger charters and pleasure flying and oil-spill response work, and take over the lease on its Coventry Airport base.
From here a fleet of historic aircraft sallied forth to participate in air shows around the UK. The impending retirement of the airline's founder Mike Collett brought about changes, but the freight charters and pleasure flying continued until new regulations brought passenger flying in the Dakotas to an end. Undaunted, Air Atlantique went on to open an aviation museum and visitor centre at Coventry.
This is the story of a unique and much-loved British airline, with an array of rare and previously unpublished photographs..
British Midland Airways existed under different identities for over 70 years, during which time it grew from a flying training school into a scheduled transatlantic airline operating wide-bodied Airbus aircraft. With the prime routes dominated by British Airways and its predecessors, it had to diversify, and one product of this was its 'instant-airline' concept, which saw its Boeing 707 aircraft flying in the liveries of many African and Middle Eastern companies. Later in its life, British Midland Airways felt confident enough to go 'head to head' with British Airways on the UK domestic trunk routes.
The acquisition of a major financial stake by Lufthansa in 2009 led to membership of the prestigious Star Alliance partnership, but even the German national airline could not find a way to stem accumulating losses, and, in 2011, the carrier was absorbed into British Airways. With over 140 images, this book charts the rise and fall of British Midland Airways.
Between 1939 and 1946 BOAC (the British Overseas Airways Corporation) was the nationalised airline of Great Britain - and between 1946 and 1974 as such it exclusively operated all long-haul British flights. With its iconic 'Speedbird' logo and its central role in the glamorous 'jet age' of the 1950s and 1960s, BOAC achieved a near cult-status with admirers around the globe. Yet, to date there has been no comprehensive history of the organisation, covering its structure, fleet and the role it played in the critical events of the age - from World War II to the end of empire, a period when BOAC played a pivotal part in projecting British political power, even as that power was waning. During World War II, BOAC operated a limited wartime service and prepared for the return of commercial flight in the postwar era. But it was in the service of Britain's colonies - and latterly the process of decolonisation - that BOAC achieved its most pivotal role.
The development of flight technology enabled much faster connections between Britain and her imperial possessions - as the colonies prepared for independence BOAC ferried diplomats, politicians and colonial administrators between London and the far-flung corners of Africa and Asia in much faster times than had previously been possible.
In this book, acclaimed historian Robin Higham presents a unique comprehensive study of BOAC from the early jet travel of the de Havilland Comet and the Vickers VC10 to the dawn of supersonic passenger aviation. Highly illustrated and meticulously researched using previously unseen sources, this book will be essential reading for all aviation enthusiasts and anyone interested in the history of modern Britain.
BEA was formed in 1946 and took over most UK domestic and European routes under the British government's nationalisation policy. It began operations with a fleet of outdated and hopelessly uneconomic passenger aircraft that were derivatives of wartime types such as the DC-3, Avro Viking and Rapide.
By the end of 1955 the airline had re-equipped with more modern types such as the jet-prop Viscount and moved into a profit for the first time. From 1960 onwards the airline introduced larger jets such as the Comet, Trident and BAC 1-11. BEA merged with the British Overseas Airways Corporation in 1974 to form British Airways.
This book looks at BEA's predecessors, its formation and early operation from Croydon and Northolt and the move to the newly-opened London Heathrow. The evolving structure is explained with chapters covering engineering bases, terminals, European and domestic services, cargo services and helicopter operations. The aircraft flown are all described in detail and the book includes anecdotes from former crew and ground-staff, a full fleet list and is highly illustrated throughout.