BA unveils its “densified” London Gatwick Boeing 777

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BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft
BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today, Monday 5 March 2018, unveiled images of its refurbished Boeing 777s which will operate on selected long-haul routes at London Gatwick from the summer of 2018.

BA took delivery of its first refurbished aircraft last week. It features an entirely new World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabin. The first routes to operate the new cabin are Punta Cana, Cancun and Kingston. Please see here for full details of the expected routes for 2018.

When BA first announced the plan to densify its Boeing 777 fleet it said that 12 aircraft would be refurbished. BA has said today that 6 aircraft will be refurbished by the end of October this year. The refurbishment will continue in 2019.
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BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 at Gatwick in 2018

In 2018, BA will increase the number of economy seats on some Boeing 777 aircraft at London Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here are details of the routes on which the reconfigured Boeing 777s will operate in 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Boeing 777

BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft
BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

A little over 12 months ago BA announced that it would, to use its lexicon, “densify” a select number of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

In short, this means that the number of seats in the World Traveller economy cabin would increase from 9 to 10 a row.

At the same time, BA will also increase the number of World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and decrease the number of Club World business class seats. The refurbished Boeing 777s are expected to enter operation at London Gatwick in 2018.

BA's initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s - November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)
BA’s initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s – November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)

Initially, up to 25 Boeing 777s will be subject to “densification”. However, you can be confident that the financial performance of refurbished aircraft and customer feedback scores will be monitored very closely.

How do I know if I will be flying on a “densified” Boeing 777?

BA has not yet updated its general guidance seat maps on its website to include the reconfigured Boeing 777s.

Update: Please see here for images of the refurbished aircraft which was unveiled on Monday 5 March 2018.

However, if you are flying on a 9 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 11 (40 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 12 – 14 (24 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 16 – 40 (3-3-3 configuration)

If you are flying on a 10 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 4 (32 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 10 – 16 (52 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 20 – 46 (3-4-3 configuration)
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BA to increase economy seat density on selected Boeing 777s

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Boeing 777

British Airways has confirmed at the Capital Markets Day of its parent company, International Airlines Group, that it is to increase the density of seating on selected long-haul Boeing 777 aircraft from 9 to 10 seats a row in its World Traveller economy cabin.

This move will be implemented on 25 Boeing 777 aircraft which is understood to be all of BA’s Boeing 777s at London Gatwick and selected Boeing 777s at London Heathrow. It will add an additional 36 economy seats to the aircraft.

BA will also reduce the size of the Club World business class cabin from 40 to 32 seats and increase the size of the World Traveller Plus premium economy cabin from 24 to 42 seats on these aircraft.

The reconfigured aircraft are expected to enter service in 2018.

This is in fact not the first time BA has implemented  10-across seating in World Traveller economy as many Gatwick based Boeing 777 aircraft had this configuration in the 1990s.

There are no plans to increase the density on other long-haul aircraft. However, you can be confident that BA will be monitoring closely passenger feedback and the financial performance of routes with the increased seating density.

This is no doubt a competitive response to both the growth of Norwegian at London Gatwick and many other airlines which have similar configurations on Boeing 777 aircraft.

Whilst the airline will no doubt say this is a necessary competitive move, it will mean a more crowded cabin, less overhead baggage space, lower crew-passenger ratios, and more queues for the washrooms.

On a similar note, BA also hints that its long-haul economy product may be “unbundled” with separate charges for items such as checked bags for certain fates, as has happpend on short-haul. If this does happen, it is likely to operate on a trial basis, initially at London Gatwick.

You can view the full slide deck from the Capital Markets Day here.

Update February 2018: Here are details of the routes on which the densified Boeing 777s are expected to operate.

BA to reconfigure selected Boeing 777s at Heathrow and Gatwick

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways Boeing 777

British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced, at the annual Capital Markets Day of its parent company International Airlines Group, that is to reconfigure selected Boeing 777 long-haul aircraft at both its bases at London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

At London Gatwick, on five Boeing 777-200 aircraft the size of the Club World business class cabin will be reduced in size from 48 seats to increase overall seating capacity on the aircraft by 10%.

IAG has not yet specified how many Club World seats will be removed and how many additional World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and World Traveller economy seats will be added.

However, it seems that BA has ruled out increasing the density of the World Traveller economy cabin from 9 seats to 10 seats per row. IAG has not stated whether it will also make any other changes to these aircraft, such as upgrading aircraft interiors and in flight entertainment systems.

At London Heathrow, nine four class Boeing 777-200ER aircraft will be converted to three class aircraft. The first class cabin will be removed to increase the overall number of seats by 25%. Again, IAG has not yet specified how many seats will be added to each of the other three cabins. Nor has IAG stated which London Heathrow routes will have first class removed.
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