Here is a story that took me by surprise, British Airways is sending new Boeing 787-10 aircraft immediately to storage. Before the changes in travel changed last year, the British Airways fleet plan had the Boeing 747-400 flying into 2024. The new operating environment sent the remaining 14 747-400 aircraft into rapid retirement last year. I thought that the 787-10 aircraft scheduled to go into service in 2020 would be ideal replacement aircraft for the 747-400 planes.
The British Airways 787 Fleet
British Airways fly all three variants of the Boeing 787:
- 12 787-8 (788) aircraft seating 214 passengers with no first class cabin,
- 18 787-9 (789) aircraft seating 216 passengers with first class and old ying-yang business class seats in a 2+4+2 layout and
- 2 787-10 (781) aircraft seating 256 passengers with first class and the new business class suites in a 1+2+1 layout.
The 787-10 Fleet Plan
British Airways ordered 10 of the 787-10 variant. The first six were to be delivered in 2020 with the first delivery in January. The deliveries were delayed with G-ZBLA joining the fleet in June, 2020 and G-ZBLB in July. The delivery schedule of the remaining 787-10 aircraft has been delayed by British Airways with two completed aircraft going directly from delivery to storage in Victorville, CA.
These two aircraft take periodic maintenance flights to keep them in immediate airworthy condition.
Due to the current state of airlines, British Airways suddenly retired the “Queen of the Skies”, Boeing 747-400 sending all 14 into early retirement. The 747 is iconic and the view sitting in row 1 with the curvature of the nose is amazing. The 747 had the old first class seats and the cramped “ying-yang” business class arrangement.
I was really hoping to see British Airways put all 10 787-10 aircraft into service upon completion by Boeing. The 787-10 has eight first class seats and 48 of the new Club World business class suites. The old business class cabin dates back to 2020 and is too cramped. What I really like about the 787 is the electronic window dimmer instead of window shades. I always fly in a window seat and I can reduce the daylight intrusion without losing my window.
I will be flying from Seattle to London Heathrow in June aboard the 787-10 and I am looking forward to that flight.