Thursday, 8 December 2016

Blast From The Past: British Airways World Tails (Boeing 747-400 Ride)

Welcome to my trip report on British Airways Boeing 747-400! 


*Most photos are credited to the respective photographers from Airlines.net 

This is the Union Jack tail livery


Introduction

This trip report took place during the 2000s when the World Tail livery was around. Its a pity that the airline was put under pressure by the public to remove the world tail livery. This is something I don't understand till today. Unfortunately for the plane spotters, the fun was over when the airline decided to remove the world tail livery. What's up, folks? It's just a livery! 

Anyway, its over now and let me share with you my past experience with this airline from Singapore to London Heathrow. I was fortunate to fly a few times with this airlines on this route and got to fly on the same aircraft, G-BNLK on the same trip. What are the odds of that happening especially coming from a large operator of the Boeing 747-400! Currently now, the airline has retired a few of them as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER entered the fleet. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft entered recently and soon will be joined by the Airbus A350-1000. Once that happens, the Boeing 747-400 will all be retired. 

History of British Airways 

British Airways is the national carrier of United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near to London Heathrow Airport. It is the largest airline in United Kingdom operating a fleet of both narrow-bodies and wide-bodies aircraft. This airline was established in 1972, thanks to the government insistence of merging BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), British European Airlines (BEA), Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines. This airline was privatised in 1987 and soon more airlines joined this airline to make it even bigger. British Caledonian (1987), Dan-Air (1992) and British Midland International (2012). This airline is one of the founding members of Oneworld Alliance and in 2011, it merged with Iberia , creating the group IAG (International Airlines Group) in the process. 

The current fleet (November 2016 update)

2 Airbus A318 (Photographed this at London City Airport) 


44 Airbus A319 (London Heathrow Runway 27L spotting)


67 Airbus A320 (Runway 27L spotting)


18 Airbus A321 


12 Airbus A380


37 Boeing 747-400 (Photographed this at Changi Beach, Singapore)


7 Boeing 767-300ER (Runway 27L arrival) 


46 Boeing 777-200ER (Changi, runway 20R approach)


12 Boeing 777-300ER (London Heathrow, runway 27L approach)


8 Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner 


15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 


History of the airline's World Tails livery

The World Tails livery was introduced in 1997 created by this London based company called Newell and Sorrell. Not just British Airways' aircraft were painted with the unique designs on the tail, its German subsidiary, Deutsche BA and also Qantas - its alliance partner at that time. 

Here are some of the tail liveries, which one do you like best? 

South African tail (Boeing 747-400)



Canadian tail - Whale Rider (Boeing 747-400)



Hong Kong tail - Rendezvous (Boeing 747-400)



Egypt tail - Crossing borders (Boeing 757-200)



Russian tail - Golden Khokloma (Boeing 757-200)



England - Chelsea Rose (Boeing 747-400)



England tail - Blue Poole (Boeing 757-200)



United Kingdom tail - Grand Union (Boeing 757-200)


United Kingdom tail - Teaming up for Britain (2000) (Boeing 757-200)



Australian tail - Wunala dreaming (Boeing 757-200)



Australian tail - Water Dreaming (Boeing 747-400)


Australian livery - Nalanji Dreaming (Boeing 757-200)


There are a few more but I chose some of my favourites. 


About my trip 

My sister was studying in U.K at that time so we had numerous chances to travel there to visit her and most of the time, we flew British Airways there as the airfares was much lower than Singapore Airlines. The schedule aircraft type was Boeing 747-400 and the boeing 777-200ER wasn't operating to Asia at that time. I flew both the Landor livery (old livery) and the Water dreaming tail livery aircraft (Boeing 747-400) a few times. Here are the photos of them: 

British Airways 747 in the old livery 


My ride from Singapore to London Heathrow and the return (G-BNLK)


My flight experience 

I flew with this airline several times from Singapore to London Heathrow and lucky for me, there was individual non-AVOD (Audio Video on Demand) system installed on the 747 so it wasn't too bad for the journey there and back. Choices of movie were limited though but at least they were showing some interesting movies as far as I can remember. The service I received from the crew was not bad and the best flight I had with this airline was the one on a British Asia Airways aircraft in the old classic Landor livery. Why? I got myself a mid-flight cockpit visit and this happened in the mid-1990s. These days, you can't visit the cockpit during flight due to safety reasons. So visiting a cockpit is still possible but try your luck after flight at the airline's home base. Chance is higher! 

My last flight with this airline was from London Heathrow to Paris on the airline's Boeing 767, you can check out the trip report over here. I was told by my mum that the current in-flight product (A380 and Boeing 777-300ER) is not bad but the service is inconsistent. How's your experience with this airline? 


The old classic Landor livery (British Airways Asia) 



About British Asia Airways 

This was a subsidiary of British Airways that used to operate between London and Taipei via Hong Kong. This airline was based in Taipei and existed due to the politics between Taiwan and China at that time. The Republic of China forbid airlines at that time to operate flights to Taiwan if they were operating flights to China so a few airlines decided to make this arrangement. The other airlines were Qantas, KLM and Japan Airlines. British Airways decided to ceased flights to Taipei in 2001 and therefore this airline ceased operation.  

Boeing 747-400 (Early 2000)

Economy Class 



Club World 



First Class 




Sadly the Boeing 747-400 are being phrased out, but they have served the airline well. Time to make way for more advanced aircraft featuring more comfortable and updated in-flight products which are being introduced to enhance the travelling experience for passengers of all classes. Competition from other rivals means they have no choice but to keep up with them. 

The Airbus A350-1000 (future), Boeing 777-300ER (present) and Airbus A380-800 (present) are the replacement aircraft for the Boeing 747-400.

Hope you enjoy this mini trip report from the past. I have plans to fly this airline's Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 in the near future. If I do, I will do a trip report on them. 

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy it. 

Cheers,
Charles