British Airways has unveiled a series of events to celebrate what it views as its centenary birthday this weekend.
The carrier traces its history back to August 25, 1919, when Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service, between London and Paris.
One of BA’s retro-liveried aircraft will operate flight BA314 between Heathrow and Paris CDG on Sunday, commemorating the flight which took off from Hounslow Heath 100 years ago.
The BEA-liveried aircraft (pictured above) will then fly around BA’s UK network throughout the rest of the bank holiday weekend.
The carrier will also greet customers arriving into the UK with bunting and decorations, while long-haul customers will be served a #BA100 menu created Tom Kerridge, and short-haul passengers will receive Hotel Chocolat gifts.
Finally BA’s choir will perform the national anthem at tomorrow’s England vs Ireland rugby union match, and at half time fans will have the chance to win one million Avios.
So far centenary initiatives throughout 2019 have included aircraft sporting retro liveries, the Speedbird 100 ale in partnership with Brewdog, a reimagined Flower Duet theme, limited edition Marmite jars, a centenary afternoon tea service, and a limited edition whisky poured at the Inchdairnie distillery in Fife, Scotland.
The carrier has also launched an online Centenary Archive Collection, featuring “never-before-seen” photographs and videos, spanning its 100-year history, as well as an interactive timeline.
Commenting on the occasion, Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:
“We have had a fabulous year so far marking our centenary and thanking our customers for making us the airline we are today – we wouldn’t be here without their pioneering spirits and sense of adventure.
“From that first customer who flew from Hounslow Heath to Paris on 25 August 1919 in a single-engine De Havilland DH4A to the millions who choose to fly with us every year on more than 800 flights a day to 200 destinations around the globe – we thank them all.
“Our customers truly enable us to bring Britain to the world and the world to Britain and we look forward to serving them for the next 100 years.”