Aircraft fleet history

British Airways has a fleet of some 252 aircraft split being Boeing, Airbus and Embraer. Historically, the airline was seen as being loyal to Boeing although, in the not too distant past, it operated aircraft a variety of manufacturers including  Vickers (VC-10), Hawker Siddeley (Trident) and Lockheed (Tristar).

In terms of its current long-haul business however, the airline is almost entirely Boeing-centric with a fleet comprising 747-400, 777-300, 777-200, 767-300 & 757-200 (operated by Open Skies). Most impressively, British Airways still has the world’s largest fleet of 747s (57). The one exception to this Boeing dominated fleet is the all-business-class A318 which operates between London City Airport and New York JFK.

This near total dominance by Boeing will come to and end in late 2013 when British Airways takes delivery of the first of its 12 A380s on order. All 12 aircraft will be based at Heathrow and operate to the airline’s premium destinations although the airline have yet to release any specific details.

At the same time, 2013 will also see the arrival of the first of British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliners, making it the first airline in the world to operate both the A380 and 787. The airline currently has 24 787s on order, split between the original 787-8 series and slightly larger 787-9 series.

With many of its 747s approaching the end of their flying lives, and the airline planning to utilise their recently secured new slots at Heathrow to increase long-haul flights, British Airways is currently appraising options for new aircraft orders. Potentially this could mean new orders for the A380, 787 series, 777-300 or new Airbus A350 series.

In terms of its medium and short haul routes, the majority of aircraft operated by the airline are now Airbus with a mix of A319-100, A320-200 & A321-200, the vast majority of which are based at Heathrow. The airline also operates older 737-400 exclusively from Gatwick while Boeing 767s are also used on both European and domestic flights from Heathrow. BA City Flyer, the airline’s wholly owned subsidiary which operates from London City, operates both Embraer 170 & 190 aircraft.