BEA operated to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East from airports around the United Kingdom. The airline was also the largest UK domestic operator, serving major British cities, including London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast, as well as remote areas of the British Isles such as the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. From 1946 until 1974, BEA operated a network of internal German routes between West Berlin and West Germany as well.
Formed as the British European Airways division of British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) on 1 January 1946, BEA became a crown corporation in its own right on 1 August 1946.
Inflight smoking is prohibited by almost all airlines; smoking on domestic U.S. airliners, for instance, was banned for almost all routes beginning in 1988, with all planes being smoke-free by the end of the 1990s. According to FAA regulations, smoking lit cigarettes or anything else that produces smoke or flame is prohibited onboard most commercial aircraft. However, the FAA has not issued a regulation for or against electronic cigarettes, leaving that decision up to the individual airlines