In the Beginning…

As the company we know today as British Airways marks its centenary, we step back to 1919 to learn more about the carrier’s earliest ancestor. David Ransted reflects on the first flight and the brief but illustrious history of AT&T – Aircraft Transport and Travel.

Precisely one hundred years ago, on August 25, 1919 the world’s first international scheduled passenger airline service took flight. The pioneering company behind the milestone was Aircraft Transport and Travel (AT&T), which began scheduled flights between Hounslow Heath aerodrome, west of London, and Le Bourget in Paris. On that historic day, jubilant crowds greeted the pilot, Lieutenant EH ‘Bill’ Lawford, on his arrival in the French capital, but the journey to get to that point had been long and tough.

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