British Airways to take delivery of first A380, expands West coast operations

LONDON – British Airways is poised to become the first airline in Europe to introduce both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 into its fleet.

The airline will take delivery into the UK of its first two 787s on consecutive days, June 26 and 27, followed by its first A380 on July 4. They will arrive around mid-morning.

British AirwaysChief Executive of the airline, Keith Williams, said that the delivery of these exciting aircraft opens a new chapter in British Airways’ history, adding that they were 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.

“These deliveries form the centrepiece of the £5bn investment British Airways is making in new aircraft, smarter cabins, superb lounges and new technologies to make travel more comfortable in the air and on the ground.

“Both aircraft types make major environmental advances and will contribute toward our ambitious targets for noise and carbon reduction.”

Following their arrival, both aircraft types will begin a complex ‘entry into service’ programme, which will see pilot and cabin crew training taking place at Manston Airport in Kent, customer service trials at Heathrow and short-haul flying for both aircraft, including flights within the UK.

Seats on the A380 are currently on sale for travel from October 15 to Los Angeles and from November 15 to Hong Kong. However the airline is advising enthusiasts, eager to be on the very first long-haul services to hold off booking as the dates of the inaugural services are yet to be announced.

The first destinations for the 787s, and the date tickets go on sale, will be unveiled shortly.

Meanwhile, the airline said that it was increasing its West African schedule adding a fourth weekly flight to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The disclosure comes just nine months after the airline started operating on the routes and will add 33 per cent more capacity to between Freetown, Monrovia and London.

“It is unusual to add more flights so soon after starting a new route, but we’re responding to strong demand in these fast-growing West-African economies. In scheduling the flight we’ve taken into account feedback from our customers about onward connections and on which days they’d prefer to fly,” says General Manager for Africa and Europe, Gavin Halliday.

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