Paging through history

BEA destination markers (left) and and Her Majesty The Queen stopping in Bermuda during her first visit to the Commonwealth after her coronation - flying on a BOAC Stratocruiser in 1953 (right)

In 1967, BOAC air hostesses wore paper dresses on routes to the Caribbean. Paper panties didn’t make the cut but an errant cup of hot coffee spilt over the hostess would have surely made for a tear-able ensemble!

A product of the swinging 60s, this paper dress, worn by BOAC crew flying to the Caribbean, were not a raging success

Designed in-house, the paper dress was a product of the ‘swinging 60s’,  says Paul Jarvis, in his book British Airways, an illustrated history. Female crew thought the rustling frocks too revealing –  paper view, some might say – so the trend didn’t catch alight.

These and other vintage images of key moments in the British Airways Centenary Archive Collection are part of the airline’s 100-year-old history.

To mark British Airways’ centenary, the airline has launched a Centenary Archive Collection of never-before-seen photographs and videos from its 100-year history that includes images from Concorde, Royal flights and vintage airline posters

The collection, to be hosted on a special centenary hub  showcases hundreds of historical photos and videos, as well as articles explaining how the British Airways we know today evolved from a single-engine De Havilland aircraft flying the world’s first daily international scheduled flight to Paris, to become a leading airline flying more than 45 million customers a year to more than 200 destinations across the world.

Her Majesty The Queen on a state visit to Malta on a BEA Trident

British Airways will continue to develop and add to the site throughout its centenary year, including adding recollections written by current and retired colleagues and preserved records, documents and images from its extensive archive.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Air travel has always been about connecting people around the world, and this website will share the stories, achievements and memories of 100 years of British Airways history.

“Since 1919, British Airways and its forerunners pioneered commercial air travel, and our Centenary Archive Collection will continue to evolve as we look forward to the next 100 years of aviation.”