MIAMI— British Airways has joined United Airlines, ANA, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Scoot and Air Canada to operate the two existing types of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, after taking delivery today of its first -9 variant.
Following an eight hour 45 minute flight from Seattle, the aircraft (registration G-ZBKA, MSN 38616, LN 346) operating flight BA9158 from Paine, touched down at its new home at 8:50am local time. It is the first of 22 787-9s the airline is set to receive from Boeing, with the next due to arrive in mid-October and a further two expected by the end of the year.
Mitch Preston, British Airways’ flight technical manager for the Boeing 787 fleet and the pilot who flew the aircraft to Heathrow, said: “It’s always a privilege to be the first pilot to fly an aircraft on its delivery flight. I was lucky enough to bring our first 787-8 to Heathrow in 2013 too.”
The British Airways Boeing 787-9 is the first aircraft of the fleet to feature its relaunched First Class product. Designed by Forpeople, the suites use new colors and material finishes, intended to “enhance the robustness and build quality” according to BA creative director Richard Stevens.
The cabin of British Airways Boeing 787-9 fleet will be divided into four sections: First Class (8 seats), Business Class (42 seats), Premium Economy (39) and Economy (127) for a total seating of 216.
The aircraft will now go in to an intensive ‘entry into service’ program, which will include ground trials and familiarization trips, before it begins flying to Delhi on October 25, followed by Abu Dhabi and Muscat from Nov. 5, 2015. The 787-9 will also fly to Kuala Lumpur in December and in February the aircraft will start flights to Austin. In May 2016 it will begin service between San Jose, CA and London Heathrow – the first nonstop flight between the two cities.
According to the airline, with a total of 42 aircraft destined to join British Airways, the aircraft is set to become its mainstay in the fleet.