HomeNewsBritish Airways marks return to the USA with special BA001 flight

British Airways marks return to the USA with special BA001 flight

British Airways marked the reopening of USA borders with a one-off return of its prestigious BA001 flight.

Touching down at 11.15 am on November 8th, it was the airline’s first flight to arrive in the US following the lessened restrictions.  

Marking this busy day for transatlantic travel, British Airways collaborated with Royal photographer, Chris Floyd to document this historic moment. After 604 days of restrictions, BA001 flight carried friends and families separated from their loved ones due to the pandemic. 

Emotions ran high in JFK arrivals as customers were reunited, they could finally embrace and meet new grandchildren, family members and loved ones.

Sean Doyle, British Airways CEO, said: “Today is about celebrating the UK-US reopening of the transatlantic corridor after more than 600 days of separation. Being able to bring families, friends and businesses back together is part of closing this chapter and celebrating what’s to come.”

Passengers were excited and emotional to reunite

It was an emotional day for many passengers, as friends and families began to reunite after nearly two years of restrictions. Here are some of their stories:

Liam Henry, originally from Manchester, lives in Brooklyn for work.  It has been over two years since he has seen his parents, Alison and David and five years since seeing his grandmother, Patricia.  During the pandemic, his mum Alison relapsed with skin cancer and he’s been unable to support her during this turbulent time. They all booked on to the first flight from to US to be reunited.

Aysha and Vincent Matthew reside in New Jersey and welcomed their second child during the pandemic. Despite trying to get a National Interest Exemption so Aysha’s mum could support her when she was postpartum, it got declined. Yesterday she was reunited with her mum and sister as they got to meet their new family member.

Maria Butters was reunited with her friend Mario and partner John in New York.  Maria and John are friends for 30 years after meeting in Columbia, but due to the country’s worsened political climate, they choose to emigrate. Maria went to Manchester and Mario to New York.  Missing Mario’s wedding, the death of Maria’s mum and being separated for almost 5 years – they were finally reunited.


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