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Published On: Thu, Apr 3rd, 2014

British Airways celebrates 40 years

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By Etuka Sunday.

British Airways yesterday joined the club of forty in uniform display to mark its fortieth anniversary.

The airline, which charts its history back to 1919, became British Airways in April 1974 following the merger of BOAC and BEA. It’s in good company, along with Victoria Beckham, Leonardo di Caprio, Robbie Williams, David Mitchell, Emilia Fox and Denise Van Outen – who all join the ’40 Club’ this year.

Denise Van Outen, said: “Forty is no longer seen as a scary age and I’m looking forward to celebrating my milestone birthday in a few weeks.

“It was really fascinating looking at the vintage British Airways uniforms, to see the craftsmanship and history attached to them. It takes me back to family holidays when I was a kid!”

The airline has searched its historic archives to release past, present and possibly future uniforms to coincide with its ruby anniversary. They include the first uniform from 1922 on Daimler Airways one of British Airways’ predecessors, the Hardy Amies two-piece from the seventies, the current Julien Macdonald uniform, and a sci-fi futuristic concept.

British Airways is also celebrating with special ‘Ruby Murray’ curry dishes on board selected flights departing from London and America in World Traveller cabins in April. These include a Chettinad Chicken dish and a Keralan vegetable curry – both served with pilau rice and a side of tadka dhal and naan bread.

For those wanting to take an in-depth look back at the airline’s complete history spanning more than 95 years, Paul Jarvis, archivist at the British Airways Heritage Centre has written ‘British Airways: An Illustrated History’, which features historic advertising posters and imagery, which show how attitudes to travel and culture have changed.

Jarvis, said: “The year 1974 was an important milestone for us, bringing together our short-haul and long-haul operations under the same name and organisation.

“The era began with Concorde, then privatisation, then a whole string of innovations right up to the present day. What is most fascinating however, is how attitudes to travel have changed. Forty years ago, a hop over to New York for a shopping trip would have been unthinkable – today it’s a weekend break many of us enjoy every year. Today the world is a pretty accessible place, but look back forty years ago and Jersey was the most common holiday destination and the Greek Islands was as exotic as it got!”

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