British Airways has today confirmed the first route to be operated by the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner.
The aircraft will operate on selected flights from London Heathrow to Dehli (Indira Gandhi International Airport) from Sunday 25 October.
One noteworthy aspect is that First cabin on this aircraft has just eight seats, compared to the usual 14 seats on most other aircraft. The exact design of the cabin is yet to be revealed. However, BA claim the First cabin features extra storage space and a single dial to control seat recline, headrest, lumbar adjustment and lighting. It also features a larger TV screen and a new touchscreen handset. That said, the seat plan for the cabin shows two rows of seats in a 1-2-1 configuration so we do not expect any radical changes.
The Club World business class, World Traveller premium economy and World Traveller economy cabins are expected to be the same as the Boeing 787-8 aircraft that are currently in operation.
The aircraft will have 216 seats in total with 42 Club World business class seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, 39 World Traveller plus premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and 127 World Traveller economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.
The Club World cabin is split between two parts of the aircraft with just two rows of seats in a demi-cabin behind First class (a further four rows are behind the galley) and we suspect this will prove quite popular.
There are a lot of anecdotal comments about the relatively poor comfort of the Boeing 787-8 cabin on BA so it will be interesting to see if any improvements are to be made.
The flights will operate five times a week on the BA257 from London Heathrow to Delhi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and the BA256 from Delhi to London Heathrow on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. This replaces a Boeing 777 on this rotation. The other daily flight to Dehli (BA143 & BA142) will continue to be operated by a Boeing 747.
Further route announcements for the Boeing 787-900 are expected in due course. Future routes are expected to include Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Kuala Lumpur.