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British Airways Celebrates 75 Years of Service Between the UK and Japan

On March 19, 1948, British Airways’ predecessor, BOAC, became the first British airline to offer passenger service between the UK and Japan, extending their Poole-Hong Kong Plymouth class flying boat service to Iwakuni.


British Airways Celebrates 75 Years of Connecting Britain With Japan - Courtesy British Airways

On Wednesday (August 23, 2023), British Airways announced the celebration of their 75th anniversary of service between the UK and Japan. On March 19, 1948, British Airways’ predecessor, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), extended their Poole-Hong Kong Plymouth class flying boat service to Iwakuni, Japan. In November 1948, the weekly service was further extended to Yokohama and Tokyo, with flights taking seven days and stopping in Augusta, Alexandria, Karachi, Calcutta, Bangkok and Iwakuni.


In Wednesday’s announcement, British Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, Colm Lacy, said,


“It all started with a flying boat and now Tokyo is one of our longest-served and most valued destinations. We’re incredibly proud of our heritage – it’s been our pleasure to connect British travellers with Japan since 1948 – and we look forward to serving them for the next 75 years and beyond as we continue our investment into new products, customer experience and technology.”



(1-2): BOAC's London Heathrow to Tokyo Haneda Meal Service Circa 1969, (3): Cherry Meringue Gateau, Which will be Served on The Route From September 1st through October 31, 2023 - Courtesy British Airways


Commemorating 75 years of service between the UK and Japan, the airline has launched their latest Business Class Club Suite cabin on flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Tokyo Haneda (HND). Starting October 31, 2023, British Airways will be the only airline offering a Business Class suite with a full privacy door on direct flights between the UK and Japan.


BOAC Polaroute Menu Circa 1969 - Courtesy British Airways


Additionally, drawing on the carrier’s extensive archive, chefs have created celebratory dishes for all four cabins, which will be served on LHR-HND flights from September 1st through October 31, 2023. Guests will be able to enjoy the most popular dishes served on the route in 1969, such as beef stroganoff and beef cheek okaribayaki. For dessert, customers will be treated to a celebratory cherry meringue gateau, the signature dessert enjoyed by guests on the London Anchorage route that same year.


British Airways’ Club Suite flat-bed seats offer direct aisle access and a door for greater privacy in a 1-2-1 configuration. Featuring 40 percent more storage, a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi and a generous 18.5 inch IFE screens, the latest Business Class product will be available on flights BA6 and BA5 operated with Boeing 777-300ERs. Club Suite equipped 777-300ERs will operate between London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda from October 31, 2023 and March 29, 2024, and is currently being rolled out across the carrier’s entire long-haul fleet. First Class will be available on all Tokyo flights from September 1st, 2023 and March 29, 2024.



Source: British Airways

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