British Airways: Largest Airline in the UK

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British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. It is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations and second largest measured by passengers carried, behind easyJet.
The British Airways Board was established in 1971 to control the two nationalised airline corporations, BOAC and BEA, and two smaller, regional airlines, Cambrian Airways, from Cardiff, and Northeast Airlines, from Newcastle upon Tyne. On 31 March 1974, all four companies were merged to form British Airways. After almost 13 years as a state company, that was sold in February 1987 as part of a privatisation plan by the
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In 1981, the airline was instructed to prepare for privatisation by the Conservative government. Sir John King, later Lord King, was appointed Chairman, charged with bringing the airline back into profitability. King was credited with transforming the loss-making giant into one of the most profitable air carriers in the world, while many other large airlines struggled.[9] The flag carrier was privatised and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in February 1987.[10] In July 1987, British Airways effected the takeover of Britain 's "second" airline, British Caledonian.[11]
The formation of Richard Branson 's Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 created a strong competitor for BA. In 1993, the intense rivalry between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic culminated in the former being sued for libel arising from claims and counter claims over a "dirty tricks" campaign by BA against Virgin. British Airways ' campaign against Virgin included poaching Virgin Atlantic customers, tampering with private files belonging to Virgin and PR undermining the reputation in the City. Following a libel case, British Airways agreed to pay £110,000 damages to Virgin (and £500,000 to Branson) and £3 million legal costs causing BA management to apologise "unreservedly" for the alleged "dirty tricks" campaign. An action filed in the US in 1993 by Virgin against BA over domination of the trans-Atlantic routes was
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