British Overseas Airways Corporation

BOAC was the British state airline from 1939 to 1946, and the long-haul airline from 1946 until 1974. The company was formed from a merger between Imperial Airways Ltd and British Airways Ltd. An Act of Parliament in 1971 created the now British Airways following a merger between BOAC and BEA (British European Airways).


BOAC was the first airline to introduce passenger jets; the first into service being the de havilland Comet. Although the airline operated Boeing aircraft the UK government insisted that BOAC operate UK designed and built planes, thus the VC10 entered service in 1964. This aircraft was specially designed for BOAC's routes which included tropical destinations and airfields with short runways. (Known as 'hot and high')


In 1962 a partnership was formed with Cunard to operate services to north America in conjunction with the Cunard ships. This was dissolved in 1966.


In March 1974 BOAC and BEA were dissolved and became British Airways. BOAC would have been the first airline to operate Concorde, in fact British Airways initial Concorde had the registration G-BOAC.


I used to fly to Lagos (Ikeja). In those days the airport was fairly basic by modern standards, no ILS for example, so sandstorms were a constant reason for long delays.. but it had a very friendly feel. Animals used to wander over the airfield!



I've flown on a few planes, but this has to be my all time favourite. So smooth and almost silent...

Lollipop flights

 In the 1960's BOAC introduced Lollipop Flights, these were almost exclusively filled with children flying between the UK and former British possessions. I flew on a couple of flights...Imagine St Trianians and you get the idea, but the staff were amazing!


I remember being given a huge tin of sweets as soon as we took off, I think the idea was they would keep us quiet for 6 hours!