British Airways Chief Executive Bob Ayling is ordering the painting of the Union Jack on over half the airline`s tail fins.
Up to 160 aircraft will `fly the flag` reflecting the importance of the UK market. This will be incorporated into the existing paint programme at no additional cost.
The Union Jack design is already featured on all the Concorde fleet and an increasing number of sub-sonic aircraft including the Boeing 767 which flew the Queen on a state visit to Korea in April.
Today`s decision reflects British Airways` latest market research which shows conclusively that UK passengers - who represent 40 per cent of the airline`s business - want to see the Union Jack given greater prominence in the airline`s global identity.
British Airways introduced its radical new identity using world images two years ago. The company`s market research shows that the world designs have been an overwhelming success in overseas markets which represents around 60 per cent of its traffic.
Bob Ayling, British Airways Chief Executive said: “Our customers and employees want British Airways to reflect the culture and heritage of their own countries. British Airways is a British based global airline. The decision we have taken today reflects this reality. The Union flag was one of the original images launched on Concorde and it has researched consistently well. The UK represents 40 per cent of our business and our fleet will reflect that.”
The announcement comes after the airline announced its innovative new Club World product for business flyers - a completely flat bed - part of a multi-million pound investment programme - the biggest ever - in all its premium brands including Club Europe, First and Concorde.