Direct flights to the deserts of Arizona began 20 years ago this month after British Airways launched its daily service to Phoenix.
The Arizona capital welcomed the very first British Airways aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 with an arching water cannon salute as it taxied to the gate after its flight from Gatwick.
Now the airline operates a daily Boeing 747 from Heathrow and twenty years later, it remains the only daily transatlantic service offering non-stop flight into Phoenix.
Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing retail and direct channels, said: “Over the past twenty years, we have flown hundreds of thousands of customers to Phoenix, which shows just how popular this incredible route it.
“Arizona has become a firm favourite with British Airways customers flying from London, attracted by its fantastic climate, incredible desert landscape and the warm hospitality from the local people.
“We’re proud to mark our 20th anniversary and look forward to flying many more customers into amazing Arizona.”
Jim Bennett, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s director of aviation services said “We are honoured to celebrate British Airways’ 20th anniversary at Phoenix Sky Harbor.
“British Airways provides an essential connection between Arizona and Europe. The flight boosts our economy, increases our tourism, and provides a vital link for businesses.”
The daily outbound BA289 service from Heathrow arrives into Phoenix at 5.20pm after the ten hours 40 minute flight from Heathrow’s terminal five, with the returning BA288 departing Phoenix each day at 7.30pm for the returning nine hours 50 minute flight back to London.
The Boeing 747-400 operated by the airline cuts a distinctive shape in the sharp desert air, being the only jumbo flown into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The plane even uses the same gate at the airport that it first arrived at 20 years ago.
Twenty years after they first began, British Airways flights into Phoenix continue to offer a gateway to the American Wild West and into the heart of cowboy country, to visit top attractions such as:
- The Grand Canyon
- Monument Valley
- Flagstaff and Meteor Crater
- The Hoover Dam
- Jerome ghost town
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area
- London Bridge
- Montezuma Castle National Monument
British Airways offers customers a fantastic range of holiday deals and experiences to Phoenix to fit all budgets, including:
A spa stay for a couple
British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 5* Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa, from £1,459 per person, travelling November 18 – December 7. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by July 12. For reservations visit ba.com/phoenix or call 0344 493 0122.
A family holiday for four
British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 4.5* The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, from £729 per person based on two adults and two children, one room, travelling August 28 – September 12. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by July 12. For reservations visit ba.com/phoenix or call 0344 493 0122.
An upmarket hotel stay in Scottsdale
British Airways Holidays offers seven nights at the 5* Arizona Biltmore A Waldorf Astoria Resort, from £1,499 per person, travelling November 18 – November 30. Includes World Traveller return flights from Heathrow and accommodation. Book by July 12. For reservations visit ba.com/phoenix or call 0344 493 0122.
British Airways offers 79 flights a week to the US West Coast, including services to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, Vancouver, and a new daily service on the 787 Dreamliner to San Jose in Silicon Valley.
Source: British Airways.