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Tower Bridge in the heart of London.

Boeing and the U.K.: 70 years of partnership

Boeing’s history with the United Kingdom dates back to the late 1930s, when the British government bought North American “Harvards” for aerial reconnaissance and pilot training, and Pan Am inaugurated regular transatlantic passenger service from New York to Southampton, U.K., using Boeing’s 314 Clipper.

Today, “we have wonderful customers and partners in the U.K., as well as some great technology associates and collaborators,” said Shep Hill, president, Boeing International, and senior vice president, Business Development and Strategy.

“We have wonderful customers and partners in the U.K., as well as some great technology associates and collaborators,” —Shep Hill, president, Boeing International, and senior vice president, Business Development and Strategy.

Those include U.K. flag carrier British Airways, which has purchased nearly every Boeing jetliner model including the 787 Dreamliner, Virgin Atlantic, which began with a Boeing 747, and Thomas Cook and Thomson Airways, the latter the U.K. launch customer for the 787.

Boeing equipment used by the British Armed Forces includes C-17 transports, Apache and Chinook helicopters, Airborne Warning & Control System aircraft, and Harpoon missiles. The company is also the prime supporter of the British Military Tournament, which raises funds for three charities, and a partner with the Royal Aeronautical Society in supporting the Schools Build a Plane Challenge.

Boeing has about 1,200 employees in the U.K. and purchases, on average, about $1 billion from U.K. suppliers. The July issue of Boeing Frontiers offers more detail about Boeing’s seven decades of partnership with the U.K.