British Airways (IAG) will take its first two Boeing 787s the week after next and an initial Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo seven days later, making the U.K. carrier the first in Europe to operate both wide-body models.
BA will receive the Dreamliners on June 26 and June 27 and the double-decker A380 on July 4 as the unit of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA spends 5 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) upgrading the long-haul fleet, it said today.
Dreamliner deliveries scheduled to commence in May before a three-month grounding of the jet due to battery flaws forced Boeing to suspend handovers. The first routes will be “unveiled shortly,” BA said, while confirming that the A380 will operate to Los Angeles from Oct. 15 and Hong Kong starting Nov. 15.
“Over the next 12 months, we will take delivery of new long-haul aircraft at an average rate of one every two weeks,” BA Chief Executive Officer Keith Williams said in a statement.
The lower fuel consumption of the A380 and composite-plastic 787 will mark “major environmental advances,” British Airways said, helping to pare costs as less efficient planes such as the Boeing 747-400 jumbo are phased out.
The second of 12 superjumbos -- featuring 469 seats in a four-class layout -- is due in September, the airline said.
Fleet modernization will stretch to 2023 and include 24 787s plus six additional Boeing 777-300ERs due for handover in the next four years, BA said. Orders for 18 further Dreamliners and the same number of Airbus (EAD) A350 are also pending.