The maiden British Airways flight to Delhi left the United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 30, 1929. It took almost a whole week to complete and cost £130 one way – the equivalent of £6,190 in today’s money. The very first journey involved four different aircraft and included 20 stops along the way. Customers spent nights in hotels, and for the leg between Switzerland and Italy they travelled not by aircraft but instead by train.
International travel has certainly taken off since 1929, with British Airways now operating 45 flights a week between the United Kingdom and India, flying to five Indian cities. Flights today take an average of 10 hours and the airline offers flights to Delhi as well as Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
British Airways also offers an exciting range of hotels in Delhi, with excellent service and great facilities as well as luxurious hotels in Mumbai, many of them well known big brands.
British Airways has been commemorating the anniversary in India with a series of local events including photographic exhibitions in the cities of New Delhi and Mumbai to illustrate the different modes of travel across the eight decades.
The 80 year anniversary underlines British Airways’ position as the longest standing European operator providing travellers with the opportunity to experience great holidays in India.
Ashley Cowen, British Airways Asia Pacific commercial manager, 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 India and the UK 80 years ago. That was an important flight and it helped open the skies for trade, leisure and family travel between the two countries.”