International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed an order of 18 Airbus A350 aircraft for BA’s longhaul fleet.
The carrier has 18 A350-1000 firm orders, plus 18 options, subject to shareholder approval. The -1000 is the largest version in the A350 family and is capable of carrying 350 passengers.
IAG has already announced that it will be converting its existing 18 options for Boeing B787 aircraft (see online news April 4).
The group says that it will be using these next-generation aircraft to replace its 30 Boeing 747-400 aircraft between 2017 and 2023.
In addition, IAG has agreed to commercial terms and delivery slots that could lead to firm orders for A350s and/or Boeing 787s for Iberia. However firm orders will not be made until Iberia is in a position to grow, following restructuring and a reduction to its cost base.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: "The A350-1000 will bring many benefits to our fleet. Its size and range will be an excellent fit for our existing network and, with lower unit costs, there is an opportunity to operate a new range of destinations profitably. This will not only bring greater flexibility to our network but also more choice for our customers.
"Both aircraft will provide further cost efficiencies and environmental benefits with fuel cost per seat improvements of more than 20 per cent.”
For more information visit britishairways.com.
Report by Scott Carey