British Airways is expecting to fly its biggest ever operation – carrying nearly 2.7 million customers over the festive Christmas period this year – following the addition of 20 new aircraft into its fleet since last year.
On December 25, 817 pilots will be operating 267 flights across the airline’s network and 3,500 cabin crew will serve customers more than 37,000 turkey dinners, along with opening thousands of champagne bottles. The busiest day for the season will be Friday December 19, with some 129,000 people flying.
The top destinations for a Christmas break are Dubai, Barbados, New York, Australia and Barcelona, BA said.
In addition to the general in-flight entertainment system, the airline will be airing a selection of TV programmes and the holiday classic ‘Home Alone’. Christmas specials showing on board during the festivities include: Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Family Guy, Mrs Brown’s Boys, The Vicar of Dibley, One Foot in the Grave, Gordon Ramsay’s Christmas Home Cooking, and for children – ‘Gangsta Granny’.
BA is also showing Doctor Who Earth Conquest, a documentary filmed during the British TV show’s recent world tour, of which British Airways was an event sponsor. From Boxing Day, passengers will also be able to watch the Queen’s annual address.
Audio albums on board include ‘Advent Calendar’ by The Choir of Somerville College, Oxford, with traditional carols including The Twelve days of Christmas, Silent Night and In the Bleak Mid-Winter, as well as ‘Christmas the Collection’ and ‘4 Girls 4 Harps’ featuring O Holy Night, Deck the Halls and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
British Airways is also set to launch its ‘thank-you’ campaign, featuring images sent in from customers from their travels around the world. The 70-second video will feature on the airline’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and G+ platforms. The video will also play on the airline’s in-flight entertainment system. In addition, travellers will be asked to recommend destinations for 2015 by uploading their images to Instagram.