Great Britain

Selling off the china: BA puts bespoke items from first class on sale

British Airways has begun selling the champagne flutes, fine china and slippers it uses in its first-class cabins, reflecting the impact of Covid-19 on its business as it operates a reduced fleet.

The bespoke items, which have been mothballed in storage because of the pandemic, are a mixture of new and secondhand, some of which have circled the globe hundreds of times in the airline’s premium First Class and Club World cabins.

The unusual move comes as coronavirus continues to batter the airline sector, and just a month after BA’s owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), slashed its flight schedule for the rest of the year and posted a €1.3bn (£1.16bn) loss for the third quarter.

As a consequence, BA has found that some of its inflight crockery and glassware is surplus to requirements. There is also an inventory pile-up caused by fewer flights, and therefore fewer breakages. Customers and collectors are being invited to buy items such as William Edwards plates, soup bowls, cups and saucers, all introduced on planes only 18 months ago.

BA said the sale allowed buyers to create what the airline called an “authentic first-class flying experience at home over the festive period”. Day blankets – a snip at £9 – have already sold out, although Club World slippers used on flights to and from east and south-east Asia fare still for sale at £10.

Also available are bespoke metal bread baskets, champagne flutes, coasters and even a Club World casserole dish. However, Alice Temperley-designed amenity kits and first-class pyjamas are excluded from the sale.

Equipment in front of 747 jet
Some of the 700 items loaded on to a British Airway 747 jumbo aircraft in 1986, including nearly 500 meal trays, 80 toilet rolls, 420 cans of coke, 320 sick bags, 5 first aid kits, 100 bottles of wine, 800 glasses, 282 blankets and 350 bags of pretzels. Photograph: David Parker/Alamy

Limited edition items such as insulated metal boxes for transporting hot food and bin trolleys from its Boeing 747 jets – now retired from service – are also part of the sale.

Carolina Martinoli, the director of brand and customer experience at BA, said: “We know that these special items will fly and we are delighted to be able to offer them in time for Christmas to give people the opportunity to make it memorable during a difficult year.”

The airline has also sold off £2.2m worth of valuable art from its collection – including Bridget Riley’s Cool Edge – after appointing Sotheby’s to value the works.

Rob Burgess, the editor of, a UK frequent-flyer website, said: “This is not the first time that BA has sold off excess stock … but this offers the airline the chance to raise some additional funds given so few people are flying right now.”

Football news:

Neville compared Liverpool to Coventry after Manchester United's win. Probably because of the color of the uniform
Vladimir Gazzaev held the first training session with Siena
Alessandro Costacurta: Inter are the favourites for both the Milan derby and the Scudetto
The Valencia player tested positive for antigens. Yesterday was a match with Atletico
Tottenham topped the rating of the most eco-friendly clubs in the Premier League. Manchester United, Arsenal, Brighton and Man City-in the top 5, Liverpool-7th
Manchester United and Liverpool put on a show in the cup. The sponsor of the entertainment is the bold positions of Trent and Rashford (United have better realized this advantage)
Roman Abramovich: Lampard's status at Chelsea remains unshakeable. He is an iconic figure for the club