When the first British Airways flight landed in India

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The de Havilland DH66 Hercules with which British Airways started its commercial operations to India in 1929. Its journey time was seven days and a single fare cost £130. Now it takes less than 10 hours to cover the distance.

It's been almost 90 years since the British government envisaged flying an aircraft to India for the first time. On November 10, 1924, a testing flight funded by Imperial Airways (a precursor to British Airways) left London
for India and finished its hopping trip on March 17, 1925, paving the way for the first commercial flight to India in 1929.

When was the first BA flight to India?
To put things into perspective, the airline has been flying to India since the iconic Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Marry to India.
British Airways (BA), which is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its flight operations in India, has many nostalgic moments recorded in their museum in London. "We began our journey to India 90 years ago and have never lost the pioneering spirit," said Christopher Fordyce, regional commercial manager, British Airways, South Asia.

How did it reach the country?
The first commercial flight in 1929 happened in a de Havilland DH66 Hercules. This journey involved four different aircraft and included 20 stops en route using multiple modes of transport. The route was London (Croydon)-Paris-Basle by Argosy (by air), Basle-Genoa (by train), Genoa-Rome (Ostia)-Naples-Corfu-Athens-Suda Bay (Crete)-Tobruk-Alexandria by Calcutta (by flying boat), Alexandria-Gaza-Rutbah Wells-Baghdad-Basra-Bushire-Lingeh-Jask-Gwadar-Karachi. The planned all-air route could not be operated as Italy would not allow British aircraft to enter Italy from France, and flying over the Alps then was not considered practical. The London-Karachi journey time was seven days and a single fare was £130.

How did British Airways come about?
According to history and heritage department archives of British Airways, in 1924, Imperial Airways was created as the government's "chosen instrument of air travel" by the amalgamation of The Instone Air Line Ltd., Handley Page Air Transport Ltd., The Daimler Airway and British Marine Air Navigation Co. Ltd. Imperial began services from London (Croydon) to European destinations as well as to India and all pioneering routes throughout the British empire. It also roped in Africa and the West Asia. After various changes, the airline was finally named as British Airways in 1974.

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