MIAMI — British Airways announced took delivery today of their first Boeing 787 Dreamliner today. The aircraft, G-ZBJB, arrived at London Heathrow on delivery from Everett Paine Field flying as BA787 at 11:50AM local time. The 2nd 787 is due later in the week.
BA announced the 787 will enter regular service between Heathrow and Toronto on September 1 and Heathrow and Newark on October 1st. Calgary is thought to be another destination. To celebrate, the airline is launching special fares from both cities to London Heathrow. For travel from Toronto and New York (JFK or Newark), the fares begin at $787 roundtrip in World Traveller (economy). World Traveller Plus, the airline’s premium economy, fares begin from $1290 roundtrip and continuing the celebrations, Club World business class fares start from $2787 roundtrip. In the meantime, the aircraft will be used on crew training flights as well as substituting possibly for other aircraft.
In a BA released press release this morning, Willie Walsh, the CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), the company that owns British Airways said “The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I’m sure British Airways’ customers will love it. The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.”
“The delivery of the first of BA’s 787s is an exciting milestone for Boeing and British Airways,” said Todd Nelp, vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 787 is the most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient commercial jetliner in its class. Its improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and cleaner cabin air will offer BA’s passengers an unparalleled flying experience.” The press release further points out “On a 787 with Rolls-Royce engines, UK companies make about 25 percent of the 787 by value.”
The new 787 routes were announced in association with brand ambassador and star of “Sex In The City” Kim Cattrall. Kim, who born in England and raised in Canada said: “I fly regularly between the UK, Canada and the USA with British Airways and I love their service. I need to be ready to work when I land, so to know that I can fly on their 787s and arrive feeling really rested and refreshed is a definite bonus for me.” Here’s hoping she’s on the inaugural.
British Airways 787-8 Dreamliner carries 214 passengers and is configured with 35 seats in Club World, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 154 seats in the World Traveller cabin. BA First is not offered on the initial 787 cabin.
This is the first of 24 787s British Airways has on order. In addition, IAG recently announced that it will convert 18 787 options to firm orders for British Airways, subject to shareholder agreement. Twelve of these will be 787-10s, meaning British Airways will operate the entire 787 family – the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10.
On July 4th, BA will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 with services due to commence for flights from London to Los Angeles from October 15 and Hong Kong from November 15. The 787 and A380 deliveries within a week of each other are the closest deliveries of new aircraft types in recent memory as BA ramps up its long-haul fleet renewal plans. Both aircraft are to be revealed to the press at that time and we will cover the event.