British Airways (BA) has reached a milestone this year celebrating 85 years in Kenya. The transformation journey has seen the UK airline adapt latest technologies, including WiFi, which is being rolled out across the long-haul network.
In a statement, the British Airways Kenya office noted; “It’s amazing to consider how far things have progressed over 85 years – from a week-long journey to a flight that takes less than half a day – but innovation and customer experience remain as important as ever.”
The BA customers are now able to use their own devices to browse the internet, access email, check social media and stream video content from sites such as Netflix and YouTube.
The UK airline added that technology is also being used to help simplify and speed up the journey through the airport. Customers are now able to use self-service bag drops at Heathrow, enabling them to label their own bags and drop these off before proceeding through security.
British Airways also became the first UK airline to introduce automated biometric technology this year, with the launch of self-service boarding gates at Heathrow Terminal 5.
A timeline of British Airways Kenya’s innovations in technology
Here we highlight some of the innovations in technology BA has been able to achieve in Kenya during their 85-year stay. The achievements include:
Use of Mpesa allowed
In 2011, British Airways launched an initiative where Customers travelling with them could make payments for their tickets and ticket changes in Kenya through the mobile money platform (MPESA) thereby affording customers a quicker and more convenient way to make payments.
Through Mpesa, customers are be able to pay up to Kes. 140,000 for their air tickets through pay bill number 380380. This development was billed as part of BA’s brand repositioning campaign which is anchored on putting the customer first.
Encouraging online ticket purchases
In 2015, Airtel Kenya partnered with British Airways to encourage the purchase of tickets online. At the time, BA offered its Premier Customers up to 25% discount on air tickets for flights on British Airways from Nairobi to United Kingdom, North America or Europe. . The catch though, was that the ticket had to be bought from BA’s website with a promotion code from Airtel.
Support for Startups in Kenya
In 2016, British Airways and Safaricom rewarded five Kenyan start-ups in an essay competition through Emerging Enterprises Initiative. The five companies which fell under SME categories, each received British Airways’ 48,000 On Business points, an equivalent of a return Business Class ticket to London and Kshs 100,000 worth of Safaricom airtime to promote their businesses.
The five winners Jiinue Holdings, Tiny Totos, Ukall Limited, Pegg Entertainment, and Zamoyo Limited, were among 100 firms that entered the competition.
BA still continues to innovate around technology, with a recent investment of £400 million in Club World, the latest-generation technology in the air and on the ground.