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British Airways
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British Airways

by February 2, 2015
Positives:

Qatar Airways own a 10% share in them - so you can expect some quality improvements at BA
Service with a smile, always!

Negatives:

Don't expect your meals to be awesome, they are basic

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British Airways (BA) is the flagship airline of the United Kingdom. It has its headquarters in Waterside, near its main hub of operations located at the London Heathrow airport. It has a second base of operations at London Gatwick Airport and the third main point of operations is served through its subsidiary, BA Cityflyer, with a base of operations at the airport of the City of London. BA is the largest airline based in the UK in as far as fleet size, international flights and international destinations are concerned.

The management of the company was established in 1971 to manage the operation of the two nationalized airlines, BOAC and BEA, and two smaller regional airlines, Cambrian Airways of Cardiff and Northeast Airlines of Newcastle. On March 31, 1974, the four companies were dissolved to form BA.  After a little more than thirteen years as national company, BA was privatized in February 1987 as part of the privatization plan launched by the conservative government of the time. The airline soon expanded its borders with the acquisition of British Caledonian (BCALA) in 1987 and an airline based in Gatwick Dan-Air in 1992.

Despite having long been a major customer of Boeing, BA made an important order for Airbus aircraft in August 1998 with the acquisition of 59 Airbus family A320 aircraft. In 2007, it made another large order, which signaled the start of the replacement of its long-haul fleet, consisting of twelve Airbus A380s and twenty four Boeing 787s. The central piece of the long-range aircraft is the Boeing 747-400; with 57 copies in service, the airline is the largest operator of its kind in the world.

The airlineis one of the founding members of the global Oneworld alliance, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Qantas, L. A. E. and the now shut down Canadian Airlines. Oneworld has since grown to become the third largest airline alliance after SkyTeam and Star Alliance.

On 12 November 2009, the airline announced that it had reached a preliminary agreement with Spanish airline Iberia. The merger of the two airlines given rise to the third largest airline in the world in terms of gross annual revenue and it is the second largest airline group in Europe. The merger was confirmed in April of 2010. Then on July 14, 2010, the European Commission granted to the two airlines permission to merge and allowed that American Airlines would cooperate with the merged entity in transatlantic routes to the United States of America. BA finally merged with Iberia on 21 January 2011, to formally establish the International Airlines Group (IAG).

British Airways was the sponsor of the 2012 Summer Games. On 18 May 2012 it carried the Olympic flame from the Athens International Airport to the Naval Station Culdrose, from where he was transported by various dignitaries, including David Beckham and Princess Anne. Now IAG recently made an improved £1.1bn bid for Aer Lingus but the Irish government, which owns a 25% stake, had been resisting a sale without guarantees over future connectivity. You might think that British Airways offering Aerlingus some more slots is a sign of strategic weakness, but this airline is still doing well and is well worth trying. It is worth noting that Qatar Airways also acquired 10% of IAG, which owns British Airways – so things are going to happen at BA. We can expect BA to have far less complaints and negative reviews over the next few months as as a result of improved customer service and fewer strikes.

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About The Author
Giuseppe Tovar
1 Comments
  • Erik
    December 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Business Class HKG-LHR in the new A380 service. Seat 53A in the back row of the front cab top cover was extremely comfortable and quiet – like being in my own private space and without the need to climb over another passenger to reach the bathroom. Spotlessly clean, this was one of the best long-haul flights I have made for many years. Cabin staff are very friendly and efficient. Excellent selection of IFE and I prefer the dinner service of a smaller scale now offered. Also I liked the very large bathrooms with lighting that varies in intensity for not sitting in the front row to disturb. We arrived almost ten minutes before schedule despite a delayed departure. Unfortunately there was a wait of 40 minutes to our arrival, but that was not the fault of British Airways. The flight was almost perfect.

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