British Airways is flying high in Hong Kong after 80 years

An Imperial Airways poster c. 1948, promotes its routes to the Far East. Credit to watercolour artist Roland Hilder.

British Airways is celebrating 80 years of flying to Hong Kong with the launch of a special anniversary fare for customers.

The maiden flight which took off on March 14, 1936 took ten days to complete, stopping at 24 different cities across the world and a one way ticket cost £175 – the equivalent of more than £11,000 in today’s money.

In comparison, flights today take an average of 12 hours and to mark this milestone, until March 24, the airline is offering return World Traveller fares from London to Hong Kong for £500 for customers travelling in May.

The very first journey involved more than seven different aircraft, including a Short Scipio flying boat and Imperial Airway’s De Havilland DH86, and comprised of 24 stops on route, including Athens, Baghdad, and Bangkok.

Nowadays the airline operates 14 direct flights a week between the two cities, with overnight services operated by the Boeing 777 and the ‘super jumbo,’ the Airbus A380.

The 80-year anniversary underlines British Airways’ position as the longest standing European operator to Hong Kong.

Richard Tams, British Airways’ executive vice president for China, said: “British Airways has never lost the pioneering spirit and the vision that saw it take to the skies with the first commercial service between Hong Kong and London 80 years ago. That was a very important link and it helped open the skies for trade, leisure and family travel between the two cities.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for their support and loyalty over the decades so we’re pleased to be offering a special £500 fare.”

From March 30, British Airways First, Club World and World Traveller Plus customers will also be able to enjoy special celebration dishes on board all flights to Hong Kong.

The airline’s chefs have carefully crafted three different dishes by blending elements from menus dating back to the 1950s and 60s with modern day culinary techniques and locally sourced ingredients.

British Airways Holidays is also offering:

  • Four nights at the 4* Cosmopolitan from £629 per person for selected departures in May. Includes return flights from Heathrow and accommodation on room only basis.
  • Four nights at the 5* Lanson Place from £689 per person for selected departures in May. Includes return flights from Heathrow and accommodation with breakfast. For reservations

To book visit

March 14, 2016