Boeing 747-400 - British Airways
British Airways is one of the biggest Boeing 747 operators. A total of over one hundred 747s of several versions (-100, -200 and -400) were delivered to the airline.
British Airways was formed after the British government forced a merger between the two British state airlines (BOAC and BEA) on 1 April 1972.
BA history traces back to 1924 when five small British independent airlines merged to form Imperial Airways, Britain's first flag carrier. One of the merging airlines was Aircraft Transport & Travel (AT&T) that performed the world's first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris on 25 August 1919. Newly formed Imperial Airways, however, concentrated its activities on long-haul routes. European routes from Britain were mainly flown by a number of small independent airlines, which were merged into 'British Airways' in 1935.
In November 1939 Imperial Airways and British Airways together formed a new airline named BOAC - British Overseas Airways Corporation. European services were suspended during the war, although a few routes were kept on for a time. After the war Britain's flag-carrier was split into BOAC and BEAC (British European Airways Corporation), later known as BEA.
When BOAC and BEA formed the new British Airways in 1972, BOAC was already operating the Boeing 747-100 as its first widebody airliner. In the late 1970s BA started acquiring 747-200s, including one 200F freighter, which was only in service one-and-a-half year before being sold to Cathay Pacific.
In 1989 the first 747-400s arrived. Today 57 747-400s are in service with BA. The aircraft on the picture in the newest livery is approaching BA homebase London Heathrow. The picture below shows a British Asia Airways 747 in the colour scheme with artistic tails, introduced in 1997. British Asia was formed for political reasons to make it possible for BA to fly to Taiwan.
British Airways is a member of the OneWorld airline alliance, as is shown on the photograph at the end of this page.