SPEEDBIRD 001: The Legacy Lives On

There is perhaps no other flight number more iconic than BA001. Originally applied to the legendary Concorde, today its legacy continues, albeit on a subsonic scale, as Martyn Cartledge discovered.

While there are many hundreds of notable air routes spanning the globe, few have the cache of the London to New York link. The two cities are hugely important centres of finance, culture, and tourism and are home to some of the most famous landmarks on the planet.

For many travellers, route numbers are viewed as little more than a simple way to identify flights. However, one does standout from the crowd – flight 001/1. Many carriers take advantage of the prestige associated with such links by assigning these specific digits. Flight number ‘1’ is predominantly designated by an airline on its most significant or historic route often termed its ‘flagship’. Prior to COVID-19 there were around 40 such examples concentrated between major cities.

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