British Airways reveal never-before-seen photographs to celebrate centenary

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

To mark British Airways’ centenary, the airline has opened its archive collection to the public for the first time to share never-before-seen memories of key moments from its 100-year history.

The British Airways Centenary Archive Collection explores key moments over the last 100 years, starting with the first international flight with its predecessor airline, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited on August 25, 1919, which carried a journalist, Devonshire cream, leather and several braces of grouse.

The collection showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how British Airways evolved from a single-engine aircraft flying the world’s first daily international scheduled flight to Paris, to become an airline flying more than 45 million customers a year to more than 200 global destinations.

The Queen returns to London in a VC-10 aircraft of BOAC.

The digital collection includes images and videos of aircraft throughout the decades, close-up photographs of uniforms worn by generations of cabin crew and pilots, behind-the-scenes memorabilia from Royal and Olympic flights, and artefacts from Concorde - the most famous aircraft that ever flew.

The Queen visited the airline’s headquarters at Heathrow to mark the centenary last week.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Air travel has always been about connecting people around the world, and this website will share the stories, achievements and memories of 100 years of British Airways history.

1986 British Airways long-haul flights at Heathrow moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4

“Since 1919, British Airways and its forerunners pioneered commercial air travel, and our Centenary Archive Collection will continue to evolve as we look forward to the next 100 years of aviation.”

The airline is currently undergoing a five-year £6.5bn investment for customers, which includes the installation of WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. 

You can find the Centenary Archive Collection here.

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