British Overseas Airways Corporation

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The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was the British state airline from 1939 until 1946 and the long-haul British state airline from 1946 to 1974. The company started life with a merger between Imperial Airways Ltd. and British Airways Ltd. Following a 1971 Act of Parliament, BOAC was merged in 1974 with British European Airways Corporation (BEA) to form British Airways. BOAC had its head office in the Speedbird House on the grounds of London Heathrow Airport in the London Borough of Hillingdon.[1]

Contents

History

During the 1930s, the 1940s postwar and until November 1950, Imperial Airways and then BOAC operated scheduled flying boat services from their Marine Air Terminal at Berth 50 at Southampton to colonial possessions in Africa and Asia. Aircraft such as the Short Empire and Short S.8 Calcutta flying boats, transported their prewar passengers and mail. Postwar, BOAC flew converted Short Sunderlands under the class names of Hythe and Plymouth. Latterly, the airline flew the completely new Short Solent flying boat on their service down the Nile and through East Africa to Johannesburg.

In addition to training pilots in the UK, BOAC operated a tropical training school in Soroti, North East Uganda.

The breakup

The Civil Aviation Act of 1946 led to the demerger of two divisions of BOAC to form three separate corporations:

In July 1949, British South American Airways was merged back into BOAC.

Early post-war operations

BOAC's initial land plane equipment during the years immediately following the end of World War Two was based on converted or adapted military aircraft including the Avro Lancastrian, Consolidated Liberator, Handley Page Halton and Avro York. In summer 1948, the unpressurised Yorks were still operating passenger services as far afield as Nairobi (Kenya), Accra (Gold Coast, later Ghana) and Delhi and Calcutta (India) and the type continued to operate freight schedules until late 1957.[2]

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