British Airways is marking 75 years since it became the first UK airline to operate passenger flights between the UK and Japan.

On 19 March 1948, British Overseas Airways Corporation, or BOAC, extended its Poole-Hong Kong Plymouth class flying boat service to Iwakuni (pictured).

In November, the weekly service was further extended to Yokohama, Tokyo, with flights taking seven days and stopping at seven cities on route – Augusta, Alexandria, Karachi, Calcutta, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Iwakuni.

British Airways Japan service

To commemorate this milestone, British Airways is launching its latest business class Club Suite cabin, on flights between London Heathrow and Tokyo Haneda.

From 31 October, British Airways says it will be the only airline offering a business class suite with a full privacy door on direct flights between the UK and Japan.

Colm Lacy, British Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: “It all started with a flying boat and now Tokyo is one of our longest-served and most valued destinations.

“We’re incredibly proud of our heritage – it’s been our pleasure to connect British travellers with Japan since 1948 – and we look forward to serving them for the next 75 years and beyond as we continue our investment into new products, customer experience and technology.”

Drawing on inspiration from heritage menus in the airline’s extensive archive, chefs have created celebratory dishes for all four cabins, that will be served on Heathrow to Haneda flights from 1 September to 31 October.

Customers will be able to enjoy the most popular dishes that were served on the route in 1969 – beef stroganoff and beef cheek okaribayaki – and the airline has also created a celebratory cherry meringue gateau, the signature desert enjoyed by flyers on the London to Anchorage sector that same year.
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