British Airways has moved forward the planned introduction of its A350-1000 aircraft into long-haul service, with flights to Dubai now set to start in September.
It had been thought that the aircraft would begin service on routes to Toronto and then Dubai in early October, following crew familiarisation flights to Madrid in August and September.
But BA’s online reservation system now shows the A350 as being rostered onto flight BA0107 from September 2, departing Heathrow at 1250 and arriving into Dubai at 2305, and returning as BA0106, departing Dubai at 0130 and landing back into London at 0615.
British Airways has also provided Business Traveller with the following statement:
“We know how excited our customers are to experience our new A350 and Club Suite. Our new aircraft will start operating to Dubai in early September, followed by Toronto on October 1.”
Note that it appears the aircraft will not operate on these services on September 7 and 8 (outbound) and September 8 and 9 (inbound).
In addition it is understood that BA will take delivery of its first B777 retrofitted with the new Club Suite in October, launching the aircraft on its New York route.
This would enable the carrier to go head-to-head with Virgin Atlantic, which is launching its all-new Upper Class product on the New York route from September 10.
The schedule for BA’s A350 crew familiarisations flights to Madrid have yet to be confirmed – we will keep readers updated as further information becomes available.
The A350 is also set to be rostered onto flights to Tel Aviv and Bengaluru later in the year.
The new-generation Airbus aircraft will be fitted with the carrier’s new Club Suite business class product, with features including a sliding door, 40 per cent more storage, and a 1-2-1 layout with direct aisle access for all passengers.