British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) has committed to buying up to 42 Boeing 777 aircraft in a deal valued at $18.6 billion.
IAG is ordering 18 Boeing 777-9 aircraft with a further 24 options, which will be used to replace British Airways’ Boeing 747-400 and four 777-200 aircraft between 2022 and 2025. Each aircraft will be fitted with 325 seats in four cabins.
“The new 777-9 is the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft and will bring many benefits to British Airways’ fleet. It’s the ideal replacement for the 747 and its size and range will be an excellent fit for the airline’s existing network,” said Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive.
“This aircraft will provide further cost efficiencies and environmental benefits with fuel cost per seat improvements of 30 per cent compared to the 747. It also provides an enhanced passenger experience.”
BA’s fleet modernisation
In January, British Airways announced the retirement schedule of its 747-400 fleet, with its remaining 34 aircraft to exit service by 2024. Now, with this latest announcement from Boeing, British Airways will become one of the world’s largest 777 operators.
The airline currently has a fleet of nearly 60 777 aircraft, and, just last year, committed to acquiring four more 777-300ER jets. Now, with yesterday’s announcement, the airline’s total 777 count will rise to 100.
In total, British Airways has 135 wide-bodied long-haul aircraft in its fleet. This includes 12 A380s, 30 787s, 12 777-300ERs, 43 777-200ERs, 3 777-200s and 34 747s. The airline also has 12 787-10s, four 777-300ERs and 18 A350s on order, in addition to the 18 777-9s announced yesterday. The first A350 aircraft will enter service later this year, while six of the twelve 787-10s on order will enter service in 2020.