The first scheduled daily international airline service in the world left Hounslow Heath (the first international London airport) on 25 August 1919.
The Heath was a large flat area south-east of today's Heathrow Airport. It was initially very popular with airlines because it was one of the first airfields in the country with a full customs facilities. Originally a cavalry training ground, the airfield and the surrounding heath land was owned by the Army, and tensions between it and the civil airlines meant a new airport was rapidly developed at Croydon. Hounslow Heath closed as an airfield in March 1920.
The first flight that took off was a de Havilland DH.4a, with a single pilot and seats (in an enclosed cabin) for two passengers. Flight time to Paris was around two and a half hours. The pilot was Lt EH Lawford, and behind, with a load of luggage (including grouse, clotted cream, leather and newspapers) was a journalist from the London Evening Standard, George Stevenson-Reece. Other journalists followed on a later flight, which they then wrote up as having been the first.