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International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, has ordered 18 Boeing 777-9 aircraft, plus 24 options, for the airline.
They will be used to replace 14 Boeing 747-400 and 4 Boeing 777-200 aircraft between 2022 and 2025, with 15 delivered by 2023.
Each aircraft will be fitted with 325 seats in a four class configuration. The approximate breakdown of seats by cabin is 8 First Class, 65 Club World, 46 World Traveller Plus and 206 World Traveller.
British Airways’ 777-9 aircraft will be powered by General Electric GE9X engines, notably not Rolls-Royce, where IAG CEO Willie Walsh has expressed his dissatisfaction with their performance over issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The announcement was made following IAG’s annual results on Thursday 28 February 2019.
Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said:
The new B777-9 is the world’s most fuel efficient longhaul aircraft and will bring many benefits to British Airways’ fleet. It’s the ideal replacement for the Boeing 747 and its size and range will be an excellent fit for the airline’s existing network.
BA is also due to take delivery of 4 Boeing 777-300, 18 Boeing A350-1000, and 12 Boeing 787-10 aircraft. It also has options for more Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft. Whilst it does not preclude further aircraft orders for growth, and a substantial number of aircraft are required to meet its parent company’s growth ambitions, this does effectively settle’s BA’s plans to replace the Boeing 747 by 2024.
BA currently operates 46 Boeing 777-200 and 12 Boeing 777-300 aircraft as well as 30 Boeing 787 and 34 Boeing 747 aircraft. This order does make the Boeing 777 series, already the backbone of BA’s long-haul fleet, by far the largest aircraft type in its long-haul fleet.