The British Overseas Airways Corporation - abbreviated to BOAC - was founded in November 1939 following the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd. The aircraft were painted in white and blue and carried Imperial's 'Speedbird' logo. Initially BOAC flew flying boats and, post-war, converted military aircraft such as the Avro Lancastrian (a civilian version of the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber). On 1 August 1946 the Civil Aviation Act received Royal Assent in Britain, splitting BOAC's operations into BOAC (flying long haul routes including to North America), British European Airways or BEA (flying domestic and European routes) and British South American Airways or BSAA (flying to South America and the Caribbean); BSAA merged back into BOAC in 1949.
In the 1950s BOAC flew the Bristol Britannia and introduced the first commercial jet airliner - the de Havilland Comet - in May 1952. By the 1960s the airline was flying the British-built Vickers Standard VC10 (and later the Super VC10) and the Boeing 707 from America. In 1962, BOAC and the British steamship company Cunard formed BOAC-Cunard Ltd, operating services to North America, the Caribbean and South America. The operation was short-lived and was dissolved in 1966. In September 1972 the airlines of BOAC and BEA began a merger, eventually forming British Airways on 31 March 1974.
|Airline||British Overseas Airways Corporation|
|Destinations||Long haul routes including to North America|
|Period of operation||1939 - 1974|
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