British Airways set to take delivery of first Boeing 787-10 this week
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The newest variant in the Dreamliner family, the -10, will join the ranks of the other 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft that are already part of BA’s fleet.
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As reported by Executive Traveller, BA’s first -10 is set to arrive in London on Thursday morning, 21 May. The aircraft, which was originally supposed to be delivered in January but was delayed, is now listed as “Ready for delivery” according to the All Things Boeing 787 blog.
Reportedly registered as G-ZBLA, the aircraft took two test flights in the past two weeks — on 8 May and 13 May. The 13 May flight departed from Boeing’s North Charleston factory and circled for approximately one hour and 43 minutes over the Atlantic Ocean, according to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24.
The aircraft is the first of 12 787-10s that BA has on order with Boeing. As previously reported, the -10 will feature a four-class configuration: First, Club Suite, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.
Notably, the -10s will feature eight first-class seats and 48 of the airline’s latest Club Suite business-class product. It’s the first Boeing aircraft to have come delivered with the Club Suite installed, rather than being retrofitted like on some of the carrier’s 777s.
When the airline was set to take delivery of the aircraft earlier this year, it announced that the -10 would first fly to Atlanta (ATL). However, given the current aviation environment amid the coronavirus pandemic, it remains unclear how the airline will utilise the -10s in the near-term.
British Airways did not provide comment on its plans for the rollout of the 787-10 into service.
The 787-10 is the longest of the three Dreamliner family members at 68 metres long. As well as aesthetic and performance differences, the -10 will have even more improved cabin pressure and air quality as well as lower noise. Additionally, this will be the first 787 where BA will have Wi-Fi installed on every aircraft.
Eventually, these aircraft, as well as the existing fleet of 788s and 789s and the new Airbus A350s, will replace BA’s outdated fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft.
Given the uncertain circumstances around aviation in the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines have pushed back deliveries of new aircraft. However, that’s not entirely the case for BA and its parent company International Airlines Group (IAG).
“Given that a number of aircraft are already financed from a cash point of view it makes sense for us to take the aircraft because we will have paid pre-delivery payments, so when we take the aircraft and then put the financing in place, there is actually a cash-benefit to us”, IAG CEO Willie Walsh said on the group’s first-quarter earnings call.
That said, the airline is deferring some of its deliveries in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Featured photo by Eric Piermont/Getty Images.