Following on from our last 2 articles about potential orders for the Airbus A350 and the seating layout on the 787 Dreamliner, British Airways parent company IAG this morning issued the following statement.
** International Airlines Group (IAG) has reached agreement with Boeing for new longhaul aircraft for the group’s fleet. IAG plans to convert 18 existing Boeing 787s options into firm orders for British Airways. They will be used to replace some of the airline’s Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2021.
For Iberia, IAG has reached agreement with Boeing to secure commercial terms and delivery slots that could lead to an order for Boeing 787s. Firm orders will only be made when Iberia has restructured and reduced its cost base and is in a position grow profitably.
British Airways’ 787s will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The engine order includes a comprehensive maintenance package with total care agreement.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “British Airways has 24 Boeing 787s on order already and we plan to boost this by a further 18 aircraft by exercising our options. ”The aircraft offers a step change in fuel burn efficiency versus our existing aircraft with improvements in fuel cost per seat of more than 20 per cent. New technology engines and improved aerodynamics will lower fuel burn leading to reduced carbon and NOx emissions. ”The creation of IAG has resulted in greater buying power for both airlines through joint procurement and we have been able to obtain delivery slots for Iberia as part of British Airways’ order”.
British Airways has 118 wide-bodied longhaul aircraft in its fleet with 42 aircraft (12 A380s, 24 B787s, six B777-300ERs) already ordered **
What can we say? Well, British Airways hasn’t indicated in this statement which model of 787 the order is for or split between. Even if it was for the largest 1000 series, that would hardly constitute a like-for-like replacement of the 747 which seats at least 100 passengers more; and assuming that British Airways plans to retain First Class on the majority of its Heathrow fleet, it is hard to see the airline squeezing First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller into even the 787-1000 model.
Even with a total of 42 787′s on order, the fact remains that British Airways still needs to replace its fleet of 52 ageing 747′s; with only 12 A380s ordered so far, the new 787′s largely replacing the 767 & 777-200 and the airline’s route expansion plans to take into consideration, we still expect a significant new order of large aircraft to follow…….don’t be surprised if the A350 is still very much part of British Airways plans.