British Airways are set to take delivery of their first 787-10 imminently. Today (21st February) in fact.
Yet so far, the aircraft has only performed the one test flight, on the 17th January. Therefore it’s clear that British Airways won’t be taking delivery today after all.
British Airways themselves have loosely acknowledged that their 787-10 is late. Despite being scheduled to operate the London Heathrow – Atlanta route from 25th February, this subsequently slipped to 10th March. It has now been pushed back once more to the 29th March.
This begs the question: Is everything ok with the aircraft? It’s clearly not a production issue, as the first pictures of the aircraft in full livery emerged weeks ago. And as previously mentioned, it made its first flight over a month ago. But since then, nothing.
British Airways are already having a bit of a difficult time with their newly introduced Airbus A350 fleet. One of their aircraft, G-XWBD, has been out of service with some sort of mechanical issue on an almost weekly basis since it was delivered. This is coupled with the fact that is a shortage of crew trained on the type. Meaning that short notice substitutions to other types of aircraft are having to be made. As I’ve now found out twice.
Similar issues with their 787-10 are unlikely though. They already operate a sizeable fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft that have been in service since 2013. Therefore there will already be a number of crew and mechanics trained up and familiar with the type. The -10 variant is essentially the same as the -8 and -9. The major difference being the stretched fuselage.
The British Airways 787 Fleet
When British Airways does take delivery of their 787-10, they will become the third airline to operate all three variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The other two being Japans All Nippon Airways and United Airlines based in the US. In all, British Airways will operate a total of 42 Boeing 787 by the end of 2023.
The airline has already announced that their new acquisition will feature a very premium heavy cabin.
Unlike British Airways A350, and indeed their smaller 787-8’s, their 787-10’s will feature a First Class cabin.
This means that the aircraft will be the most desirable in the fleet to fly on, as it will be the only type to feature the latest First Class seat along side the new Club World Suite.
Whilst there are a couple of British Airways 777 aircraft (G-RAES/G-VIIL) fitted with the Club World Suite, they still feature the 2010 First Class seating.
The routes already announced for the 787-10 are:
- Atlanta, from 29th March
- Dallas, from 1st May
- Nashville from 3rd September
- Seattle, from 1st July
As the -10 has the lowest range of all three 787 variants, it’s unlikely that British Airways will send the type on the longest of routes to the Far East. However, with a maximum range of 6430nm, it could technically make it as far as Tokyo. Although at 5900 miles between the two cities, it’s highly unlikely that the aircraft will be deployed on this route. More realistically, London to the West Coast of the USA will likely be the limit.
Of Course, now that I’ve written all this, the aircraft will probably pop up on the radar for its delivery flight 30 seconds after I’ve hit publish…