British Airways celebrates 80th anniversary of flights to the Middle East
- Kuwait: Wednesday, October 24 - 2012 at 15:13
- PRESS RELEASE
British Airways celebrates its 80th anniversary of flights to the Middle East with an event tonight at the British Embassy in Kuwait. The airline's first flight to the region arrived in Kuwait in October 1932, under the banner of Imperial Airways, a predecessor to British Airways.
Today, 80 years later, a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Kuwait on a Boeing 747-400 takes approximately six hours, travels at 988kmh and can carry up to 345 passengers across four classes.
Paolo De Renzis, Area Commercial Manager, Middle East and Central Asia, said: "The growth of the aviation industry has been one of the most significant developments in travel and we are especially proud to have been a part of it in the Middle East. British Airways has pioneered many aviation firsts and are currently two years into a £5 billion investment plan that includes new aircraft, smarter cabins, elegant lounges and new technologies."
Since the first flight in 1932, the Middle East has been a key market for British Airways. Currently the airline flies to eight cities in six GCC countries with 68 flights per week during the winter schedule, including daily flights between Kuwait and London Heathrow.
Imperial Airways began passenger flights to Kuwait in April 1935. The journey started in London (Croydon) and flew to Paris. The journey from Paris to Brindisi was by rail, but continued by air to Athens, Alexandria, Cairo, Gaza, Rutbah Wells, Baghdad, Basra and finally to Kuwait and Bahrain.
The airline's Concorde service flew between London Heathrow and Bahrain from 1976 to 1980. In February 1979, Queen Elizabeth flew to Kuwait on the Concorde at the start of a three-week Middle East tour that also included Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The Concorde flight from Heathrow to Kuwait took less than four hours. "As the aviation industry in the Middle East continues to grow, we look forward to being a part of its development for the next 80 years and beyond," De Renzis said.
As part of the 80th anniversary celebration, British Airways has organised a catwalk show of crew uniforms from throughout the decades. The uniforms depict the fashion and style of the times, with many having been designed by Britain's most famous designers and fashion houses.
British Airways has also launched a special fare offer for Middle Eastern travellers to coincide with the 80th anniversary. Customers can discover Europe, the USA and Canada at special discounted fares if they book before 31 October. The fares are applicable for First, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) and are valid for travel before 31 March 2013.
A full timetable of British Airways' flights to London and beyond is available online at ba.com - where customers can find the lowest fares- and book, pay and check-in online for their flights.
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