British Airways marks the big 4-0

British Airways celebrates its 40th anniversary of service between Toronto and London this month. The carrier is marking the occasion with the introduction of twice-daily service between the two destinations, and is making Toronto one of the first of eight North American gateways to offer the new “four-level” classes of service next year.

Flights now depart at 6:15 p.m. and 10:55 p.m. from Toronto, arriving in London at 6:20 a.m. and 11 a.m. respectively. Daily, year-round flights will continue to operate from Montreal and Vancouver.

The plans for additional Canadian service and the anniversary celebrations followed British Airways announcement of a $1.4 billion investment in new products. Product improvements include the introduction of World Traveller Plus – a dedicated cabin with new wider seats, additional legroom, in-seat PC power and telephones, seatback video screens and increased hand-baggage allowance.

If that’s not your fancy (or pocketbook), try Club World, with a new “armchair style” seat with footstool that converts into a six-foot long bed. Larger personal video screens, in-seat power for laptops and telephones, increased hand baggage allowance and flexiblcatering are also featured. If you really want to blow the budget, you can still go first class and get an honest-to-goodness bed among many other features.

British Airways is also will be upgrading the economy class cabin on all of its long-haul aircraft. This new service is already available on Boeing 777s and features new seats with seatback videos and new interiors. As well, the carrier’s initiatives include a “feed the family first” program, infant seats and in-flight toys.