British Airways reaches 90th birthday amid stormy time for industry27 August 2009
BA, which began life as Air Transport & Travel, took off on its first flight from Hounslow, west London to Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris, on Aug 25 1919. The airline was the first to offer a daily international service.
BA in its present form was created by the merger of British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways, in 1974.
Today, BA is struggling to compete with low-cost carriers such as Ryanair offering no-frills flights with fares of a few pounds and, like the rest of the airline industry, has suffered from the sharp drop-off in business and holiday travel as a result of the global downturn. BA is particularly reliant on business-class travel across the Atlantic for its profits.