British Airways showcases A350 aircraft at Heathrow

29 Jul 2019 by Mark Caswell
British Airways A350

British Airways is officially unveiling its first A350-1000 aircraft at Heathrow this afternoon.

The carrier has released new exterior and interior images of the aircraft, along with a making-of video, and an infographic detailing various facts about the plane (see below).

Registered G-XWBA, the aircraft is the first of 18 A350s that BA has on order. The carrier is set to take delivery of four by the end of the year, featuring BA’s new Club Suite business class.

Two B777 aircraft are also set to be retrofitted with the new seat this year, with a further phase starting in 2020 “which will see British Airways rolling out its Club Suite on further long-haul aircraft across the network”.

British Airways A350

The carrier recently moved forward the planned introduction of its A350 into long-haul service, with flights to Dubai now set to start on September 2.

This will be followed by Toronto on October 1, with Tel Aviv and Bengaluru seeing the aircraft later in the year.

But before that the A350 aircraft will operate selected short-haul services between London and Madrid during August, “to allow the airline’s teams to perfect their customer service delivery and familiarise cabin crew with the aircraft layout”.

BA’s A350 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.

British Airways A350

At today’s launch, British Airways’ Head of Inflight Product Sajida Ismail told Business Traveller: “We’re very proud. It’s emotional and we’re just excited for it to start flying now.

“The 1:2:1 configuration in Club World is going to be amazing, and the World Traveller cabin is amazing as well. We’re going to be providing great on-board service with excellent entertainment – wifi on board, so the ability to work when you want to, as well as new games.

Here we take a look inside the cabin:

Inside British Airways’ first A350-1000

Ismail also told journalists she wanted to address the “elephant in the room” – potential upcoming strike action by BA pilots.

“Let me be the first to acknowledge that British Airways realises how serious and worrying the situation is for our customers, especially during the peak period.

“We are doing everything possible to reach an agreement with BALPA [British Airways Pilots Association] and in the event that a strike is called, we will do everything that we can to reduce the impact for our customers and we will continue to pursue all avenues to find a solution to protect their travel plans and avoid industrial action.

“We hope that BALPA will return to talks as soon as possible. It is unprecedented for us to have a pilots strike, but it is not the first bump for British Airways in our history, and it won’t be the last.”

The Club Suite mapped out in the British Airways Laserdrome

The airline also celebrated the A350 arrival by mapping out the aircraft and Club Suite within a 100sqm British Airways Laserdrome.

Commenting on the news Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience said:

“We are delighted to welcome the first of our A350s to the fleet. This aircraft marks a significant and exciting milestone in our £6.5 billion investment programme and is even more special as it comes with our new Club Suite.

“The A350 is a fantastic aircraft and an excellent showpiece for British engineering. Our customers are going to love the space, light and comfort on board.”

British Airways A350 infographic
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