First overseas airmail service

The UK’s first overseas airmail service began in 1918, and was a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the British Army Post Office (BAPO). The route operated between Folkestone and Cologne. Additional routes quickly developed and within thirty years, Britain was the world’s largest carrier of airmail. By 1930, blue airmail boxes were introduced to advertise the General Post Office’s (GPO) new airmail service.

In addition to offering airmail services, the BAPO also provides a special service to member of the British Forces stationed across the globe.

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The first scheduled, international, civil airmail service was launched on November 10 1919 by British airline Aircraft Transport and Travel. The flight was made from Hounslow to Paris in an Airco DH4A de Havilland biplane, flight number G-EAHF, with a Royal Mail pennant attached to its rudder.

The proving flight for this new service was made on July 15, 1919.