Category: British India Line

Categories: British Ships | Passenger Lines


The Calcutta and Burmah Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1856 to carry mail between Calcutta and Rangoon. The company was formed out of Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co, a trading partnership of William Mackinnon and Robert Mackenzie. In 1862, Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co formed a new company: the British India Steam Navigation Company (BI), and the Calcutta and Burmah Steam Navigation Company was absorbed into it. In 1886, BI acquired the Australian Steamship Navigation Company. In 1912, BI acquired Apcar & Company of Calcutta, and then shared control of the Bombay & Persia Steam Navigation Company (the rest of which was owned by the Asiatic Steamship Navigation Company). In 1913, BI acquired the Currie Line. In 1914, BI merged with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), and became part of the P&O Group, although it maintained its identity through various corporate reorganisations until 1971. In 1917, BI acquired the Hain Steamship Company and the Nourse Line. In 1919, BI acquired the Strick Line. In 1935, BI gained controlling interest in the Asiatic Steamship Navigation Company. In 1953, P&O bought Mackinnon, Mackenzie & Co. In 1971, P&O was reorganised, and the British India name came to an end.

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