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Qantas59
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BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:07 am

Does anyone know the year that BA first began LHR-HKG, and the equipment that was used on this service?
Was it after Chek Lap Kok opened? Thanks for any replies.
Cheers.
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lutfi
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:34 am

14 March 1936 (but not non-stop!) using DH Heracles.

Non stop - I would guess 1989 or so, with the B744. I know Cathay flew nonstop before that with B747-200B, not sure if BA did.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:39 am

It was definitely before Chep Lak Kop. BA flew 744s non-stop to Kai Tak from about 1989/90. I'm sure that someone can give you the exact date.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
airpearl
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:40 am

Not certain when they started non-stops, but when I flew BA in 1989 it was a scheduled non-stop B747-200. (We also had a small fire on board due to someone smoking in the loo which added a bit of excitement to the ride).
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:09 am

I flew LHR - Kai Tak non stop on a BA 744 in April 1997, not sure how long it had been running for though. Remember descending past the washing lines !!
 
vv701
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:18 am

I think that, as others have said, it was 1989.

In his book "British Airways Its History, Aircraft and Liveries", Keith Gaskell writes (p. 42):

"By that time [c. 1986] the airline's commercial department was demanding aircraft which could operate much longer routes such as between Heathrow and Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, year round with a full passenger load. Boeing therefore took the opportunity presented by the availability of still more powerful engines . . . to completely update the 747 airframe . . . to produce a superb ultra-long-haul version, the Series 400 . . ."

The first BA revenue flight by a 747 436 was on 28 July 1989. On that date G-BNLC operated LHR-PHL-PIT-PHL-LHR. This four-cycle rotation was chosen for the type's inaugural flight because it offered twice the number of cycles that were offered on most other BA services, thus more rapidly building operational experience. But HKG must have followed sooner rather than later. Note here that the BA operational 744 fleet had grown to five frames by mid November of that year, 1989. So there had been a rapid growth in BA 744 capacity with five frames entering service in just four months.

Finally we can be certain that BA operated their 744s into Kai Tak. There are 63 photos of BA 744s at Kai Tak in the data base.
 
Thenoflyzone
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:39 am

in 85/86, BA was flying the following routes to HKG.

LHR-DEL-HKG 3x weekly 747
LHR-ANC-Tokyo-HKG 1x weekly 747
LHR-BOM-HKG 3x weekly 747
LHR-FCO-BAH-HKG 1x weekly 747
MAN-MUC-DXB-BKK-HKG 2x weekly L1011

So 89/90 seems the likely years when BA started to fly non stop to HKG.

As for CX, during the same year, 85/86, it was flying non stop to LGW once a week only. Another 7 frequencies were operated via BAH.

Source 1: http://airlineroute.net/2011/01/25/ba-w85/

Source 2: http://airlineroute.net/2011/02/10/w85-cx/

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2014-03-12 03:43:19]
us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
 
Bellerophon
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:46 am

thenoflyzone


...So 89/90 seems the likely years when BA started to fly non stop to HKG....

I'm not sure exactly when the first non-stop LHR-HKG was, but I think you are probably correct.

The first LHR-HKG non-stop flight in my log-book is on 23 April 1990, on G-BDXK, a B747-236, with a flight time of 12h:45m. Prior to that, I had always operated through DEL or BOM.

Interestingly, my return flight shows me stopping at DEL on the way back, so I suspect that the prevailing adverse winds, coupled with routing over India and the Middle East, meant we couldn't make the Westbound flight on a B747-236 due to the prevailing winds.

The later arrival of the B747-436, as well as the shorter route once we had permission to overfly Russia and China, meant that HKG and SIN non-stop could be achieved comfortably.


Best Regards

Bellerophon
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:01 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 5):
Note here that the BA operational 744 fleet had grown to five frames by mid November of that year, 1989. So there had been a rapid growth in BA 744 capacity with five frames entering service in just four months.
Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 7):
The first LHR-HKG non-stop flight in my log-book is on 23 April 1990

To narrow it down a little further: I flew HKG-LHR on BA on one of the notorious early-September school bus services in 1989 in time for my final year at secondary school (which was 89/90). The flight was almost certainly non-stop - even then I was taking filofax (!) notes about my flights - now where's that Junior Jet Club Book when you need it…  

I also have a memory (perhaps not that particular flight) of a crew rest 'capsule' in the E-zone of the BA 747s for these v long routes - were they only installed on the 742s? - it seems to me that the 744s would have been delivered with the overhead crew rest, so I'm a little confused.

[Edited for grammar!]

[Edited 2014-03-12 13:03:07]
 
jumpjets
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:15 pm

Just to narrow it down a little - I flew HKG-LHR non stop on a BA 747-200 in early Feb 1989 - but I don't know how long the route had been operating non-stop at that point.
 
babybus
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RE: BA LHR-HKG Nonstop (question)

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:26 pm

Quoting jumpjets (Reply 9):
I flew HKG-LHR non stop on a BA 747-200 in early Feb 1989

I can confirm that I did the same flight on a BA 747-200 at the same time out of Gatwick non stop to Kai Tak in 11 hrs.

The aircraft flew home with one stop in Delhi.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.

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