'You make us fly': British Airways mixes new with nostalgia in television commercial

It's the first ad from the airline to play on television since 2019.
It's the first ad from the airline to play on television since 2019. Photo credit: British Airways

After one of the worst years in aviation history, British Airways has launched a new advertising campaign, putting its people and customers at the centre of the story, and at the same time pulling at the heartstrings of those who miss the days of frequent travel.

"You make us fly", is the first television commercial from British Airways since its centenary in 2019.

The new campaign features the airline's own people, all of whom volunteered to feature in the advert that has been designed to have an uplifting feeling and remind customers that they are "at the heart of British Airways". 

It follows airline staff making their way back to work with a very British sense of urgency, to return to doing what they love most: flying.

From the moment they wake up to the sound of a boarding call, right through until they pour that first cup of tea.

There's a lot of nostalgia in the ad as well. The music playing throughout the advertisement is Flower Duet from Delibes' opera Lakme, which first featured in British Airways' advertising over 40 years ago and is still proudly used as the airline's boarding music.  If you don't know it now, you will as soon as you hear the first note.

"There is a sense of huge anticipation from colleagues across the airline who are preparing to return to work after a very difficult year," said Sean Doyle, British Airways' Chairman and CEO. 

"The story illustrates the pride that our people tell me they're feeling at the thought of seeing our planes in the sky once again and having the opportunity to welcome and serve our customers, to reunite them with their friends and relatives.

"The excitement is palpable."