December 2012

Excitement is building as the first new long-haul aircraft are only months away from arriving.  British Airways has now revealed the interior design and layout for its Airbus A380 Super-jumbo and Boeing Dreamliner.

The Dreamliner will seat two hundred and fourteen passengers in comfort and the A380 will seat 469 with an “enhanced” version of First.

Designwise, the cabins will feature the designs already found on the new Boeing 777-300ER which have been very popular.

All of the Dreamliners will feature a new Club World layout, the t 787-8s will feature a new Club World 2:3:2 layout, the latest generation World Traveller and World Traveller Plus seats.

In addition, the new A380 will also have an enhanced version of First.

The exact seating plans of another 16 787-9s on order have yet to be finalised, they could have three or four-cabin configurations.

British Airways is set to be the first European airline to operate both new aircraft types, with its first Dreamliner arriving in May and A380 deliveries starting in July.

Speaking in Seoul, Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), said: “We are investing £5bn in British Airways’ new and upgraded aircraft, innovative technologies and customer services.

“We now have six Boeing 777-300ERs all fitted with our latest cabins.

“Our customer feedback and satisfaction scores show the seat and cabin designs have achieved the highest ratings we have ever seen.

“By next Spring we will have finished installing our new First cabins.

“The nine new aircraft we take delivery of in 2013 will feature our latest signature designs to ensure the customer experience maintains the highest standard across our fleet.”

The British Airways Dreamliner will have 35 seats for customers in the new Club World triple configuration of 2:3:2; 25 seats in a World Traveller Plus layout of 2:3:2; and a further 154 seats for those travelling in World Traveller, with a 3:3:3 configuration.

On the British Airways A380 there will be 14 seats in First on the main deck, with extra personal and stowage space; the Club World cabin will feature 44 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration; and there will be 199 seats in World Traveller, with a 3:4:3 layout.

The A380 upper deck will feature 53 seats in the new Club World triple configuration of 2:3:2; 55 seats in a 2:3:2 World Traveller Plus layout; and World Traveller will have 104 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration.

Both new aircraft will also feature the airline’s latest Thales in-flight entertainment system, which offers customers 50 per cent more movies, 200 per cent more TV shows and 200 per cent more audio programmes and music.

British Airways will announce the routes the new aircraft will operate in spring 2013.

BA has one of the biggest fleets of Boeing 747, and the fleet is aging having an estimated average age of 17 years. The airline has an older fleet than Lufthansa and Air France. To address this, in 2007 BA made its largest order in 10 years by buying 12 A380 superjumbo, and 24  787 Dreamliners, in deals a multibillon dollar deal. The first of these aircraft should join the fleet next year.

BA soon to have A380

Soon to come in red white and blue (and we don’t mean Air France)

But BA has some significant cost problems hanging over it relating to the airline’s ageing fleet, funding the acquisition of a new fleet and large pension schemes.  Investors are concerned about these issues and the worries are fueled in part because asset-backed loans are now more pricey because European banks withdrew from this activity follwing the banking crisis.

BA’s parent company IAG is working on plans to find new funding sources for its aircraft and some news sources have reported novel funding approaches such as enhanced equipment trust certificates – a kind of odd hybrid between a corporate bond and an asset backed security.

With such novel approaches, the long term pensions deficit will be reduced and hopefully it will be back to paying dividends in 2015!




The airline’s first flight to the region arrived in Bahrain in October 1932, under the banner of Imperial Airways, a predecessor to British Airways.

The Handley Page HP42 aircraft took off from Croydon, just south of London, on 2 October 1932. It travelled at just 160kmh and carried fewer than 20 passengers. The aircraft stopped in Bahrain en route to India and also touched down in Kuwait and Sharjah, UAE. It took six days to reach Sharjah.

Today, 80 years later, a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to Kuwait on a Boeing 777 takes approximately six hours, travels at 988kmh and can carry up to 345 passengers across four classes.

British Airways celebrates its 80th anniversary of flights to Bahrain and the Middle East with an event tonight at the British Embassy in Manama.

British Airways is to axe 400 senior cabin crew positions on long and short-haul routes.

All the redundancies would be voluntary, it reports and also that it had started a 90-day consultation process. The cuts are expected to start taking effect from March 2013.

BA said the cuts would affect senior cabin crew staff who worked exclusively on either its long or short-haul flights.

The airline currently has about 14,000 cabin crew staff in total.