British Airways (BA) has announced it will introduce its first Boeing 787-9 into its fleet in September 2015 and will initially deploy the larger Dreamliner variant on its route between London Heathrow and Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, India from the start of the winter 2015/2016 schedule in late October.
The new 787-9s are joining the smaller 787-8 in the BA fleet as part of a major fleet renewal and alongside its debut to Delhi on October 25, 2015 on an initial five times weekly basis, the type will be introduced on the airline’s daily double sector route from London to Abu Dhabi and Muscat from October 26, 2015 and its recently introduced daily link to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from December 5, 2015.
From February 1, 2016 the type will be introduced on the airline's daily London Heathrow - Austin link, while from March 27, 2016 the 787-9's deployment on the London Heathrow - Delhi service will be increased from five times weekly to a daily schedule.
The new 787-9s will be fitted with BA’s new First Class cabin, providing a four class configuration versus the smaller 787s which are arranged with World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and Club World (business class) cabins. This is just an eight-seat offering in comparison to the 14-17 seats available on its other long-haul aircraft, giving even more exclusivity and privacy to premium customers.
The arrival of the 787-9 will coincide with the redeployment of the airline’s reconfigured 747-400 fleet which will begin to return to scheduled operation in the autumn. The first of the 18 aircraft will return to its network in September 2015 following a cabin face-lift, installation of a new Panasonic eX3 next generation in-flight entertainment system and the addition of 16 more Club World seats.
The revamped jumbos will operate on selected flights from London Heathrow to New York JFK, Chicago, Lagos, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh and Kuwait, with further routes to be added by BA in summer 2016 as more upgraded units return to the air.
BA has a total of 42 787s on order, of which eight are already delivered and now in service on routes between London Heathrow and Austin, Chengdu, Chennai, Hyderabad, Montreal, Philadelphia, Seoul and Toronto, having first entered long-haul scheduled operation with the carrier in September 2013. According to Boeing’s customer Order and Delivery Summary, BA has now taken delivery of all of its 787-8s with its remaining Dreamliner commitments split between 22 787-9s and 12 787-10s.