47 British Airways
Company: International Airlines Group
Brand value: US$1,496 million
Headquarter city: Waterside, Harmondsworth
Change since 2017: 11%
Year formed: 1919
British Airways is the largest British airline based on fleet size, with more than 280 aircraft serving over 170 destinations in 70 countries. It is based at London’s Heathrow airport, and carries more than 40 million customers a year. Late last year, British Airways announced it was bringing back the “glory days” of air travel, by offering more free in-flight meals, better Wi-Fi, and refreshing its fleet with 72 new planes. This was followed by news in early 2018 of a multi-million-pound upgrade to catering in BA’s World Traveller (long-haul economy) cabin, with a more extensive and exciting menu and new snacking options. Recent advertising includes a campaign to show off what BA is tipping as the 18 best holiday destinations for 2018, with members of the public invited to complete challenges in order to win prizes linked to the chosen places. British Airways also contributed to Heathrow’s Christmas campaign, with an aircraft from its predecessor, BOAC, and 60s-era crew uniforms featuring in a “flashback” ad starring two teddy bears who also appeared in the Christmas ad a year earlier. With the union flag on the tail fin of its planes, and “British” in its name, it is known as the UK’s national airline; it was state owned for many years, but was privatised in 1987. The brand is seen as distinctly British; British Airways is the official airline of the Wimbledon Tennis tournament, and was the official airline and tier-one partner of the 2012 summer Olympics and Paralympics, held in London. The brand’s slogan is “To Fly. To serve”.