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British Airways

British Airways or BA is the largest airline of the United Kingdom and Europe, it's also one of the largest in the world. It was formed in 1974 from the merger of the state owned British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways (BEA). During the fiscal year ending 2002, BA carried 40 million passengers on revenues exceeding GBP 8 billion. The flag carrier was privatised and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1987 by the Conservative government of Mrs. Thatcher.

The airline has British Airways Cityexpress, Duo Airways, and Loganair as its subsidiaries.

British Airways Airbus A319.

British Airways Boeing 747.

British Airways is based at the London Heathrow Airport. It also has a commanding presence at Gatwick. BA has succeeded in dominating Heathrow to the point that the airport is commonly referred to as Fortress Heathrow within both the airline and its competitors. As an incumbent airline, BA had grandfather rights to around 36% of takeoff and landing slots at Heathrow, many of which are used for the lucrative trans-Atlantic market. Some competitors, such as Virgin Atlantic, bmi British Midland and United Airlines, assert that this stifles competition and some political think tanks recommend an auction of slots. In recent years British Airways has been buying slots from other airlines including United Airlines, DAT, Virgin Atlantic, and Swissair, and now owns about 40% of slots at Heathrow.

British Airways was an operator of the famous Aerospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic airliner. BA had a daily Concorde service between London and New York. It was announced (on April 10, 2003) that, after October 24, 2003, they would cease scheduled services with Concorde, due to depressed passenger numbers and increasing maintenance costs. The last day of its Saturday-only London Heathrow to Barbados Concorde flight was on August 30, 2003.

British Airways aircraft use the Airline call sign "Speedbird" in ATC radio transmissions. The airline's IATA designator is BA. British Airways is a founding member of the oneworld airline alliance.

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