BA returns to an earlier time

A minor story this one, but an important one.

British Airways is bringing back a ‘tag line’ invented 90 years ago: “To fly. To serve”.

The slogan remained on company uniforms even when advertising told us that BA was “The world’s favourite airline”. It is now being brought back as the core of a new advertising campaign, and will be painted on aircraft.

“So what?”, you might think. But it tells a story.

The chief executive, in the midst of what the company’s own report calls “ferocious trading conditions“, has decided that the best way to position the £7bn company for what is ahead is to emphasise service.

The thinking clearly goes deeper: the newly-hired managing director of brands and customer experience has a background in the hotel industry.

The slogan was invented at a time when BA was called Imperial Airways, the British Empire still existed, only a very few people could afford to fly, and they expected service. Could it be that BA sees a return to a similar future?

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