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Timeline: British Airways

In the 90 plus years since the world's first scheduled air service began in 1919, air travel has changed beyond all recognition. Yet, throughout it all, British Airways has remained a pioneer in its field

Timeline: British Airways

In the 90 plus years since the world's first scheduled air service began in 1919, air travel has changed beyond all recognition. Yet, throughout it all, British Airways has remained a pioneer in its field

1919

On the 25th of August Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (a forerunner to today's British Airways) launched the world's first international scheduled air service – between London and Paris. The first flight carried a single passenger, and cargo including British newspapers, Devonshire cream, jam and grouse.

1939

Imperial Airways was created as the government's "chosen instrument of air travel". It began services from London to European destinations, as well as Africa the Middle East and India. But it wasn't until 1939 that it merged with three private airlines, to form the independent British Airways Limited.

1958

The delivery of the De Havilland Comet enabled what would become British Airways to operate the first transatlantic jet service. British South American Airways (BSAA) was created to operate services to South America, while British European Airways (BEA) take of commercial operations in Europe.

1974

The early 1970s saw the introduction of the Boeing 747 – the first wide-bodied jet – as well as the advent of supersonic flight with the Concorde. It also saw the merger of BOAC and BEA in 1974, to form British Airways.

1987

With a new corporate identity and long-haul flights taking off at the newly built Terminal 4 at Heathrow, British Airways' privatisation was completed in 1987. The company was merged with Gatwick-based British Caledonian Airways in 1988.

1999

British Airways had one of the largest fleets in the world, and the 90s saw it order a new fleet of Airbus aircraft. A new global alliance was formed – oneworld – which saw British Airways partner with Qantas and American Airlines.

2012

British Airways celebrates the launch of its new British Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner route between London and Abu Dhabi. The star-studded even features celebrities such as Margot Robbie, Orlando Bloom and Jessie J.