Churchill, Thatcher and the Ryder Cup: The 15 most momentous flights in British Airways' history

It was BA that flew Thatcher to the Soviet Union for her memorable official visit in 1987
It was BA that flew Thatcher to the Soviet Union for her memorable visit in 1987 Credit: getty

On its 100th birthday, we look back at the most historic British Airways flights to have carried the great and the good to some of the most momentous events of modern times, witnessing history in the making.

1. The world's first scheduled international flight

Onboard: Captain EH “Bill” Lawford
The date: August 25, 1919

With countless military missions behind him, in August 1919 Captain E.H. Lawford piloted the world’s first scheduled international service. He flew from Hounslow Heath, Middlesex to Paris in an open-cockpit single-engined De Havilland DH4A. There was one passenger: an Evening Standard reporter called George Stevenson-Reece (they communicated by passing notes through a hatch).

Stevenson-Reece paid 42 guineas (£44.10) for the privilege, equivalent to three months' wages and carried a consignment of jars of Devonshire cream and several brace of grouse for the British ambassador Lord Derby.

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