THE FORMAT INTERNATIONAL SECURITY PRINTERS LTD. ARCHIVE
Information and Reference of What was Found in the Archive
British Airways Letter Service Private Carrier Stamp issues printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd. and items found in the Archive
BRITISH AIRWAYS LETTER SERVICE
British Airways Private Carrier Labels printed by Format International Security Printers Ltd.
British European Airways and British Overseas Airways Corporation merged to form British Airways on 1st April 1972, and British Airways
took over BEA’s airway letter service. On April 1, 1974 British Airways issued their first private carrier stamp. The airway letter
service ended on May 2, 1988.
Various stamp printing companies were used to print the labels. Bradbury Wilkinson was one of them. On February 5, 1982 the fifth
issue was released. Apparently nobody knows that it was the Format International Security Printers who printed them. The evidence is
what was found in their archive and sold in the final sale of the archive in 1995. The artwork, photos and overlays were there and also
120 £2.80 stamps in full sheets were also found.
Here again we are shown how close the ties with other printers was during the Format Printers era. The design of the labels being the same
as the older designs printed by Bradbury Wilkinson. The artwork and other materials sent from one company to the other. Because records
are routinely destroyed for "security reasons", the evidence of who actually printed many stamp issues is also lost to us forever. It is my
belief that to stop the fraudulent activities of stamp agents and agencies as a whole, all documentation produced in the production of
stamps in general should be retained and made public so that true statistics are known.
Are the plates used now destroyed? For these labels supposedly 30,000 were made. Most of them now lost and destroyed. Try to find one.
Should the plates still exist, a deceitful soul could easily just "reprint" them for profits as is shown in my "Modern Fake Stamps" section
of this site.
Here is a snapshot image taken from the Philatelic Compendium website for the fifth issue.
1982 BRITISH AIRWAYS LETTER SERVICE 5TH ISSUE
Here is the only image I could find of this label on cover. It was sold in 2012.
British Airways £2.80 Label Used on Cover
This is the only British Airways Private Carrier stamp printed by the Format International Security Printers Ltd.
References taken from:
Christie's Final Sale Catalog of the Format Archive