More than 7,000 items get your British Airways flight off the ground, and what was the most unusual cargo item transported this year?

British Airways
Date Posted: 17/08/2018

During the summer holiday period there are over 7,000 items loaded onto each aircraft to cater for all their customers on board.

As the summer holidays reach full swing, British Airways has released some interesting data on what and who is on just one of the 850 British Airways operated flights which are in the sky each day. These figures are based on a Boeing 747 flying from London Heathrow to New York JFK which is loaded with over 7,000 items, with many of these needed to be offloaded and reloaded onto the aircraft prior to each flight.

On board this flight there are 798 glasses, 388 quarter sized bottles of wine, 101 full bottles of wine and 350 individual bags of pretzels. There are also 500 coasters along with 473 cans of coke. For passengers comfort there are 293 headrest covers, 283 blankets, 319 sickness bags, 78 toilet rolls, 5 first aid kits and a combined total of over 500 bedding items.

The figures that were released by British Airways also looked at how people fly, in an average year one in two passengers are travelling by themselves (47 per cent) with only 27 per cent travelling as a pair or couple. Surprisingly, only 28 per cent of passengers transported are travelling for business purposes, with the leisure holiday market on a high at 70 per cent.

It’s not just passengers and their luggage loaded on board each flight, there is also an immense amount of cargo loaded onto each flight. British Airways sister company IAG Cargo tallied up their freight figures and so far this year in 2018 most of the cargo that is transported is general goods at 56 per cent. Priority goods such as fashion products, smartphones or tablets make up 28 per cent of the cargo in the hold. Specialist cargo is a small market that IAG Cargo transports; specialist cargo includes, but isn’t limited to live animals and high valued artwork. Only four per cent of cargo loaded on board is perishable food items such as fruit and vegetables, along with three per cent of the cargo specifically requiring temperature controlled storage facilities such as pharmaceuticals and lifesaving vaccines.

British Airways noted that some of the interesting shipments include cognac from Bordeaux France, emergency lettuce from Los Angeles and Royal Wedding exclusive magazines travelling from the UK to the US. On average only 42 per cent of passengers on board a British Airways flight are of a British nationality and 13 per cent are of American nationality.

British Airways Boeing 747 (Image: British Airways)

“Many of our customers are curious about flying and want to know who or what else is on their aircraft. With more than 800 flights each day all over the world it takes a lot of planning, from loading cargo to wine, to toilet rolls, and first aid kits.” Said Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience.

British Airways has currently invested £4.5 billion (AUD$7.8 million) in the airline, adding wifi on board and power outlets to every seat. The airline has also invested in a range of new champagnes and sparkling wines for passengers. The investment will also see the 128 long-haul aircraft fleet receive new cabin interiors, as well as taking delivery of 72 new aircraft over the next five years.

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