British Airways - Celebrating 90 years of flying with pride

Friday 18, February 2011


British Airways - Celebrating 90 years of flying with pride


British Airways celebrated its 90th anniversary on 25 August 2009. To mark the occasion, the British Airways Heritage website was launched on


Heritage Collection

The British Airways Heritage Collection has existed since the formation of British Airways. It was formed to preserve the records and artefacts of British Airways' predecessor companies BOAC, BEA, BSAA and the pre-war Imperial Airways Limited as well as British Airways Ltd.


The collection comprises an extensive document archive recording the formation, development and operations of these companies and British Airways as well as memorabilia and artefacts.


Over 400 uniforms from the 1930s to the present day are preserved, as well as a large collection of aircraft models.


A historically important library of thousands of photographs is also available as well as probably the most complete set of aviation posters in the UK.


Many of the photographs and posters from the collection are now available to view in our website galleries. Copies of these photographs and posters are also available to purchase.


Heritage Centre

The British Airways Heritage Centre situated within British Airways Waterside Corporate Headquarters is manned by volunteers whose dedication, together with the generosity of donations of artefacts from many staff and former colleagues, has built the collection to what it is today.


The Heritage Centre is open for visitors and we look forward to welcoming you to see our collection. We welcome information, guidance and advice on the collection, particularly first-hand experiences from those who have played some part in our history.


"Welcome to British Airways Heritage.

Whether you are visiting us on-line or in person at our Heritage Centre at our Waterside offices, I hope you will enjoy looking back at some of the key moments in the distinguished history of today’s British Airways and its airline predecessors. 


From the opening of the world’s first daily commercial passenger air service from Hounslow Heath to Paris in August 1919 by Air Transport & Travel, the glamour of Imperial Airways’ flying boats in the late 1930s hurrying on their way to destinations throughout Africa, the Far East and Australia, and the post-war achievements of BEA and BOAC to the 27 glorious years of supersonic commercial flying with Concorde, we have been consistently in the forefront of progress and customer service, in the air as well on the ground.


Importantly, we also tell something of the people who, in their many and varied ways, have contributed so much to the fortunes of British Airways and its predecessors over the past 90 years.


Many historic milestones are recorded in this website and represented at our Heritage Centre. They provide us with a legacy of innovation and tradition of business acumen which serve us well as we move forward to new exciting opportunities following our merger with Iberia, our Joint Business with American and our oneworld alliance.


Thank you for your interest in British Airways and its history."


Willie Walsh, CEO IAG 2010

Chief Executive Officer, British Airways 2005 to 2010



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