The company operates international and domestic flights - both scheduled and charter - as well as freight and mail. It flies to 216 destinations in 94 countries. In 2002, its 343 aircraft carried more than 40 million passengers.
The company was established in 1919. In 1939, it merged with Imperial Airways to form the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). In the early-70s, it merged with BEA. BA was privatised in 1987.
BA is part of oneworld, a global alliance that brings together Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Qantas, Finnair, Iberia, LanChile and Cathay Pacific. The alliance, founded in February 1999, offers a range of co-operative measures designed to provide a seamless world network.
Besides oneworld, BA has relationships with various airlines.
It owns an 18% stake in Qantas and 9% in Iberia. It franchises smaller carriers, including GB Airways and British Mediterranean, to feed passengers onto the BA network, and has code-sharing agreements with America West, Emirates, SN Brussels and Poland's LOT. It also owns subsidiaries such as British Airways CitiExpress.
Using these airlines, BA can offer travel to 550 destinations in more than 130 countries.
BA made its broadcast sponsorship debut in September 2002 by supporting Destination Reports, a programme on Sky News in a deal worth £500,000.
The daily British Airways Destination Reports features information about topical locations, targeting both business and leisure travellers.
In December 2002, BA launched a voucher scheme allowing tickets to be purchased as gifts. The vouchers are available for 15 different zones, each covering a variety of world cities. All voucher tickets are sold at a fixed rate without having to specify destination or dates of travel.
In the same month, BA was named best airline and won the best business class category at the ninth World Travel Awards, held in St Lucia.
BA introduced internet access on Heathrow to New York flights in January . The three-month trial gives business and first class passengers connection to the internet, e-mail and corporate intranets. If the system proves successful, BA plans to implement it across the long-haul fleet.
February saw BA launch a multimedia campaign to promote its Club World flat beds to boost volumes of business travel.
The TV ads feature a businessman getting into a bed in Times Square, New York, and waking up in London's Piccadilly Circus. Press and outdoor ads will also promote a BA offer of two free Club Europe tickets with every full-fare Club World ticket booked, using the strapline 'Two free tickets if you sleep with us'. The campaign, which cost £3m, was created by M&C Saatchi.
Pre-tax loss £200m
(Year to March 31, 2002)
Adspend (year to January 2003)
Direct mail £789,663
Source: ACNielsen MMS
Director of marketing and commercial development
Waterside, PO Box 365, Harmondsworth, West Drayton, UB7 0GB
Tel: 020 8738 5050
Fax: 020 8738 9816
Web site: www.british-airways.com