Company: International Consolidated Airlines Group SA
Brand value: US$1,344 million
Headquarter city: Waterside, Harmondsworth
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. 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 and merged with Iberia to form International Airlines Group in 2011. BA’s origins lie in Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited, founded almost a century ago, and the British Airways name has been in use since 1974. BA was a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
The brand’s slogan is “To Fly. To serve”. In mid-2017 it announced a revamped dining service in its Club World (business class) cabins as part of a £400 million investment in Club World. The airline has also teamed up with Comic Relief and a range of TV and film stars to create a new, humorous safety video. These announcements have been somewhat overshadowed, however, by industrial action by cabin crew over pay, and by several IT failures this year, which caused widespread delays.
Advertising in 2017 has centred on a social media campaign encouraging passengers to share their own #unforgettable holiday moments. It promotes user-generated content, and features an interview with Victoria Beckham about family, flying and her ambitions. BA also used social networking – Facebook Messenger’s bot – in its December holiday sale campaign, helping match travellers with destinations using emojis. BA is now owned by International Airlines Group and is listed on the London Stock Exchange.