British Airways is the largest airline of the United Kingdom and the third largest in Europe (behind Air France-KLM and Lufthansa), with more flights from Europe across the Atlantic than any other operator.
Its main hubs are London Heathrow and London Gatwick, with wide-reaching European and domestic shorthaul networks, including smaller hubs at other UK airports including Manchester, from which some longer-haul flights are also operated.
The Boeing 747-400 is the only model of the Boeing 747 still in production. The 400 series 747 is the best selling and the most advanced model of the 747 family. The aircraft will be superseded by the Boeing 747-8, expected to enter service in 2009.
The 747-400 was announced by Boeing in October 1985, was rolled out in January 1988 and first flew on April 29, 1988. Certification was received on January 10, 1989 with PW4000 engines, May 18, 1989 with CF6-80C2s and June 8, 1989 with RB211-524Gs. The first 747-400 was delivered to Northwest Airlines on January 26, 1989, with service entry on February 9.