British Airways has been given the go-ahead to offer seat-back entertainment from the moment passengers board the company's long-haul flights, during taxiing, and throughout landing.

Previously, the entertainment system could be used only after the aircraft had successfully taken off and up until about 30 minutes before it landed. At other times, the seat-back monitors would be used for safety or tourist information.

The approval has come from the Civil Aviation Authority and comes into effect from 1 December. It also marks a first in that headphones would traditionally not be allowed to be worn when a plane was taking off or landing.

It is believed that electronic portable devices, such as tablets, smartphones and eBook readers, would still be prohibited during taxi, take-off and landing.

"We know how much our customers enjoy our carefully selected in-flight entertainment so we’re delighted that now they’ll be able to pack even more of the programmes and films into their long-haul flights," said Frank van der Post, director of brands and customer experience at BA.

It is currently not known whether other airlines will be able to adopt similar practices in the near future.