18 JULY 2016
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Celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of direct flights to Arizona have been held at British Airways with a traditional water-cannon salute at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) and other events.
Direct flights to the destination began in July 1996 when the BA aircraft, a former British Caledonian Airways' McDonnell Douglas DC-10, was also greeted by the water-cannon ceremony as it taxied to the gate after its flight from Gatwick.
The airline now operates a daily B747-400 from Heathrow with a 10hr 40min flight time outbound and 9hr 50min inbound.
It remains the only daily transatlantic service offering a non-stop flight into Phoenix. It also uses the same gate as in 1996 and is the only B747 operating into Sky Harbor.
BA head of marketing retail and direct channels Sara Dunham said Phoenix was a highly-popular route with passengers from London attracted by Arizona’s climate, desert landscape and warm hospitality.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport director of aviation services Jim Bennett added: “BA provides an essential connection between Arizona and Europe. The flight boosts our economy, increases our visitors and provides a vital link for businesses.”
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