We receive a lot of search enquiries from readers regarding what type of aircraft is due to operate on their flight, so this page we’ve sought to set out an overview of what different type of aircraft BA operates and how it makes a difference to the seating configuration and in-flight experience.
Whilst the vast majority of passengers choose flights according to schedule and price, it is of course useful to know what to expect in advance.
We have also prepared a more detailed analysis of BA’s fleet plans for 2018.
In summary by airport:
London City & London Stansted
All short-haul BA flights are operated using Embraer E170 or E190 aircraft.
These are in a 2-2 configuration in both EuroTraveller economy and Club Europe business class cabins. This aircraft is also used on weekend leisure flights to non-London destinations from Manchester airport.
The one exception is that some flights may be occasionally operated using aircraft wet-leased from other airlines.
BA’s daily service to New York JFK (BA1/BA2) is operated by an all business class Airbus A318 in a 2-2 configuration.
London Gatwick – Short-haul
All short-haul flights are operated using either Airbus A319 or A320 aircraft in a 3-3 configuration in EuroTraveller and a 2-2 configuration in Club Europe. In the medium term, BA plans to move to all Airbus A320 operation at Gatwick.
Note that as BA has very recently expanded at Gatwick it is chartering aircraft and crews from Germania and Titan Airways so that it can cover its schedule.
London Gatwick – Long-haul
All long-haul flights are operated using Boeing 777-200 aircraft.
These are in either a three class (Club World, World Traveller Plus, World Traveller) configuration or a four class (First Class, Club World, World Traveller Plus, World Traveller). Please see here for a list of routes that operate with and without First Class. The Boeing 787, 747 and Airbus A380 do not operate at Gatwick.
BA is ” target=”_blank”>currently reconfiguring its Boeing 777s to increase seat density in economy. Here are details of the routes on which they are expected to operate.
London Heathrow – Short-haul
Almost all short-haul flights are operated using either Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft.
BA does also operate a Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft on selected flights (BA460 and BA461) between London Heathrow and Madrid. Iberia also operates an Airbus A340 on flights IB3167 and IB3166. This is so BA can transfer large volumes of cargo to Iberia which is owned by the same parent company, International Airlines Group. This is one of the few pleasures of short-haul travel in Europe and should be selected if possible.
BA has now retired the Boeing 767 from its fleet. BA is progressively introducing the Airbus A320 Neo and Airbus A321 Neo at Heathrow. As at December 2018 there are eight Airbus A320 Neo and one Airbus A321 Neo aircraft in the fleet.
London Heathrow – Long-haul
At London Heathrow, BA operates the Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Boeing 777-200, Boeing 777-300, Boeing 787-800, and Boeing 787-900.
The Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Boeing 777-300 and Boeing 787-900 all operate in a four class (First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller) configuration. The Boeing 787-800 operates in a three class configuration. Please see here for a list of routes that operate with and without First Class.
From July 2019, BA will begin to introduce the Airbus A350-1000 at London Heathrow.
Please see a full listing of aircraft type by route starting with North America here.
BA has 12 Airbus A380s in service.
It operates on selected flights to Boston (summer seasonal), Chicago O’Hare (summer seasonal) Singapore, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami (winter seasonal), San Francisco and Vancouver (summer seasonal). It has previously flown to Washington. Please see here for full details of Airbus A380 routes for 2018.
BA has 36 Boeing 747s in service.
BA expects to retire the Boeing 747 in February 2024. The number of Boeing 747s will reduce to 12 by 2022.
18 aircraft have been refurbished with new interiors and in-flight entertainment systems. These are the Boeing 747s with 86 Club World seats. These regularly operate on routes such as Chicago O’Hare, Lagos, New York JFK, Philadelphia and San Diego.
Some of the remaining 52 Club World seat 747s are now being refurbished. They regularly operate on routes such as Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver.
It is quite common for 52 / 86 Club World Boeing 747 routes to swap on certain dates depending on commercial demand and aircraft availability.
The Boeing 747 can also regularly alternate / be paired with the Boeing 777-200 on routes such as New York JFK.
BA has 12 Boeing 777-300s in service at London Heathrow.
All operate in a four class configuration. It operates routes such as Austin, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Singapore-Sydney, and Tokyo Haneda.
BA has 47 Boeing 777-200s in service across London Gatwick and London Heathrow.
The Boeing 777 is the mainstay of BA’s long-haul operation and touches pretty much all parts of the BA network.
Three class Boeing 777-200s operate on routes such as Bangkok and Buenos Aires.
Four class Boeing 777-200s operate on routes such as Boston, Houston, New York JFK, and Seattle.
The 777 can also regularly alternate / be paired with the Boeing 787 on routes such as Atlanta, Dehli, Jeddah, New York Newark, Shanghai and Toronto.
In 2019, BA will begin to refurbish some of its Boeing 777-200 fleet at Heathrow. This is likely to encompass a new Club World cabin, a smaller First Class cabin, larger World Traveller Plus cabins, and
BA has 10 Boeing 787-800 in service. These all operate in a three class configuration, with no First Class.
They operate on routes such as Baltimore, Chennai, Durban, Hyderabad, Montreal, Nashville, New Orleans, Seoul and, from next year, Charleston and Pittsburgh. The 787 also operates selected frequencies to Toronto.
BA has 18 787-900 aircraft in service. These aircraft all operate in a four class configuration, with an 8 seat First Class cabin.
It operates on routes such as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City, Muscat, San Jose, Santiago, The Seychelles, Shanghai and Tokyo Narita. It also operates selected frequencies to Atlanta, Los Angles, Newark and Washington Dulles. It can also operate on a number of Boeing 787-800 routes above on selected days.