International 24.8.2018 04:20 pm

What is onboard your average British Airways flight?

A British Airways A380 flies over Cape Town. Picture: Supplied.

A British Airways A380 flies over Cape Town. Picture: Supplied.

Many travellers are curious about flying and want to know who or what else is on their aircraft.

If you’ve ever wondered what gets loaded onto the average long-haul flight to keep customers fed and comfortable, what’s in the hold and who’s travelling and why, British Airways has released data revealing exactly what’s onboard one of the airline’s 850 flights a day.

A Boeing 747 operating from Heathrow to JFK is loaded with over 7 000 items – many of which have to be unloaded and reloaded before each flight.

Included in the inventory are 101 full bottles and 388 quarter bottles of wine, 293 headrest covers, 350 bags of pretzels, 78 toilet rolls, five first aid kits and up to around 800 items of bedding, including the new Club World White Company bedding, which has been introduced as part of British Airways’ £600m (about R11 billion) investment in its long-haul business class.

The study also looked at how people fly. In an average year, one in two (47%) are solo travellers, while 27% travel as a pair. Around 70% are travelling for leisure, while% cent are flying for business.

To help visualise the figures, British Airways has created an infographic of the results.

For those who’ve ever wondered what’s flying in the hold beneath them, IAG Cargo reports that so far in 2018, 26% of cargo flying in the hold has been made up of priority goods such as fashion products, the latest smartphones, or tablets.

While 5% of the cargo was specialist cargo such as live animals or high-value artwork, 4% was perishable produce such as raspberries from Kenya or lettuces from the US, and 3% of the cargo was temperature controlled pharmaceuticals and lifesaving vaccines.

Some of the year’s most interesting shipments includes Cognac from Bordeaux to Kuala Lumpur, emergency lettuce from Los Angeles in response to the UK’s heatwave vegetable shortage and royal wedding special magazines from the UK to the US.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “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.”

New champagnes and English sparkling wines for customers travelling in First class and Club World have also been added to the list of items onboard, as part of the airline’s £4.5 billion investment for customers over the next five years. The investment is also driving the installation of the best quality WiFi in every seat.

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