MIAMI — British Airways’ first two Boeing 787s are due to arrive at London Heathrow on June 26 and 27 around mid-morning, and their first A380 is due to arrive mid-morning on July 4. The first deliveries of the A380 and 787 to British Airways continue the £5 billion ($7.8 billion) long-haul fleet upgrade by International Consolidated Airlines Group that was started with the first delivery of the Boeing 777-300ER.
British Airways has 12 Airbus A380s on order. On the A380 there will be 14 seats in First on the main deck, with “extra personal and stowage space”. The Club World cabin will feature 44 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, and there will be 199 seats in World Traveller, with a 3-4-3 layout. The A380 upper deck will feature 53 seats in the new Club World triple configuration of 2-3-2. World Traveller Plus will have 55 seats in a 2-3-2 premium economy (World Traveller Plus) layout, and World Traveller will have 104 seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.
British Airways has 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on order. In Club World there will be 35 seats in the new Club World triple configuration of 2-3-2. In World Traveller Plus (premium economy) there will be 25 seats in a layout of 2-3-2, and in World Traveller (economy) there will be 154 seats with a 3-3-3 configuration.
Keith Williams, chief executive, said: “The delivery of these exciting aircraft opens a new chapter in British Airways history. We are proud to be leading the way in Europe in operating both these aircraft types. Over the next 12 months, we will take delivery of new long-haul aircraft at an average rate of one every two weeks.”
Once arriving at Heathrow, both aircraft types will undergo a comprehensive entry into service program. During the program, pilots and cabin crew will train at Manston Airport in Kent, and customer service trials will occur at Heathrow. After training, short-haul flights will occur, including flights within the UK.
No date for the inaugural flights have been set, but seats on the A380 are currently on sale for travel beginning October 15 to Los Angeles and beginning November 15 to Hong Kong. British Airways says that more information about the first destinations and dates will go on sale will be “unveiled shortly.”
However, it is rumored that British Airways announced their initial 787 routes internally in March. According to a post on Airliners.net, British Airways will initially fly their Dreamliners to Calgary, Newark, Toronto, and Washington Dulles beginning on July 16. The flights have not been loaded into the system as the start date depends on the delivery date, and the inaugural flight could potentially occur before or after July 16.