BA paints B777-200 to look like a panda

20 Sep 2013 by GrahamSmith

British Airways has painted the front of a Boeing 777-200 to look like a panda to celebrate this weekend's launch of its London to Chengdu service.

The B777-200 will be deployed on the thrice-weekly service when it begins on Sunday. Its nose now looks like a smiling panda, fitting as Chengdu is known as home of the giant panda.

The route will make BA the only carrier to offer non-stop flights between Heathrow and the Chinese city.

BA B777-200 panda plane

Keith Williams, British Airways' chief executive, said: "Chengdu is a fascinating venue for leisure travellers, and is known around the world for its famous giant pandas and excellent fiery Sichuan cuisine.

“As one of China's largest cities, Chengdu is also an economic power house, having expanded rapidly, consistently delivering double-digit rates of growth.

"This new route demonstrates the importance of mainland China to British Airways and our commitment to grow our presence there. We are confident that the new route between Chengdu and London will prove popular with customers travelling between the two major economic hubs."

BA B777-200 panda plane

BA89 will depart LHR on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 1530, arriving into Chengdu at 0855 the following day. The return service will see BA88 departs Chengdu on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1055, landing into Heathrow at 1500.

The B777 will be configured for World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World and First seating.

The only other direct, non-stop flights between Europe and Chendgu are operated by KLM from Amsterdam (with China Southern Airlines codesharing on the route).

Graham Smith

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