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How British Airways' history-making take-off to New York was supported by this A-list couple

The US reopened its borders to fully vaccinated UK visitors on Monday

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Hanna Fillingham
US Managing Editor
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British Airways marked the return of US travel in an unforgettable way on Monday 8 November, as the airline joined forces with a twin take-off from Heathrow Airport.

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The history-making journey saw the British Airways flight synchronise its departure with a Virgin Atlantic plane – a first of its kind.

The flights were numbered BA001, a number usually reserved for Concorde flights, and VS3, and marked the first day of US travel for the majority of UK nationals since the pandemic.

british airways virgin flights

British Airways made history with a dual take-off to New York with Virgin Atlantic 

What's more, the special journey – which included a one-off American themed menu - was supported by none other than Hollywood couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who both had big parts to play on the day.

MORE: Blake Lively stuns in a red mini dress for a heartfelt occasion

Passengers on the special BA001 flight were given a miniature bottle of Aviation Gin, which is owned by the actor.

Aviation Gin was recently added onto the cocktail menu at the British Airways JFK lounge, along with mixers from Blake's recently-launched alcohol-free drinks range, Betty Buzz.

british airways new york

Passengers from the BA001 flight were greeted in style at JFK airport 

Blake was even in attendance at a special event hosted for passengers on the BA001 flight to New York that evening, which was held at the Empire State Building.

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The Gossip Girl actress was there along with the British Consulate General of New York, chairman and CEO of British Airways and CEO of NYC & Company, who all came together to light the building's iconic tower blue, white and red to mark the occasion.

The actress told guests: "When I was asked to join today I was so excited for a multitude of reasons. "British Airways has been one of the original investors in Betty Buzz, which is a mixer company I started if you're probably wondering why the heck I'm here."

blake lively ryan reynolds

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were both involved in the history-making event

British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said: "After more than 600 days of separation, today is our moment to celebrate the UK-US reopening.

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"Transatlantic connectivity is vital for the UK's economy recovery, which is why we've been calling for the safe reopening of the UK-US travel corridor for such a long time."

British Airways Holidays offers a range of luxury hotels in the city, including 5-star Conrad New York Midtown. Passengers travelling on selected dates between 1-14 February 2022 inclusive are offered economy return flights from London Heathrow, 23kg luggage allowance and three nights of accommodation from £969 per person.

blake lively betty buzz

Blake Lively at the Empire State Building lighting ceremony 

There is plenty to do and see in New York, with attractions ranging from the Edge at Hudson Yards to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, all included in the New York City Pass, which is available to buy from just £109.

With the reopening of Broadway shows, the newly-opened public park, Little Island, along with the upcoming Thanksgiving parade and Christmas celebrations, New York has never been a more exciting place to visit.

As Blake concluded at the welcome ceremony: "Now it feels like the world is coming together again and it represents so much hope."

For more information and to discover all of British Airways' travel offers, visit their website

To get ideas on where to visit in New York and find new experiences in the city, visit NYCgo

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