British Airways’ A350 Fleet Is Still Growing As Deliveries Continue

British Airways’ fleet of new aircraft is continuing to grow as the airline yesterday took its eighth Airbus A350. The delivery comes as the airline’s total capacity is down following the retirement of its Boeing 747 aircraft earlier this year.

British Airways, Airbus A350, Delivery
British Airways yesterday took delivery of its eight Airbus A350. Photo: British Airways

Many airlines have delayed taking delivery of new aircraft orders, with some even canceling them due to the current global situation. The thinking is that why should an airline be spending money on new aircraft when it isn’t flying the aircraft it already has. After all, the majority of the cost of an airplane is paid at delivery.

Another Airbus A350 delivery

Yesterday British Airways took delivery of its latest Airbus A350-1000, G-XWBH. With the manufacturer serial number 446, the aircraft flew from Airbus’ home in Toulouse to London Heathrow last night. Having first flown on October 22nd, the aircraft completed six test flights before delivery, equalling 12 hours and eight minutes, according to AIBfamily.

British Airways, Airbus A350, Delivery
The airline has 18 A350s on order. Photo: British Airways

As a result of the latest delivery, British Airways has taken four A350-1000s in each of 2019 and 2020. The aircraft delivered in 2019 all came in the second half of the year. As the next A350, G-XWBI is yet to take its first flight. It won’t be delivered until some time in 2021. The planes received so far were delivered on the following dates:

Aircraft First Flight Delivery
G-XWBA 02 Jul 2019 25 Jul 2019
G-XWBB 21 Aug 2019 19 Sep 2019
G-XWBC 06 Nov 2019 26 Nov 2019
G-XWBD 11 Dec 2019 23 Dec 2019
G-XWBE 16 Jan 2020 12 Feb 2020
G-XWBF 03 Apr 2020 15 May 2020
G-XWBG 07 Aug 2020 02 Oct 2020
G-XWBH 22 Oct 2020 14 Dec 2020

What’s happening with Boeing 787-10 deliveries?

While deliveries are seemingly going full steam ahead regarding the A350 program, British Airways still only has two Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The airline was due to receive its first 787-10, G-ZBLA, in January. However, this wasn’t delivered until the end of June, followed by G-ZBLB, the second aircraft, just days later.

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Since then, no further deliveries of the type have taken place. However, assuming that British Airways continues taking delivery of these aircraft as and when they are ready, they should come thick and fast at the start of 2021. Two more 787-10s have taken their first flights, with a third having been spotted in its full colors,

Aircraft First Flight Delivery
G-ZBLA 17 Jan 2020 26 Jun 2020
G-ZBLB 22 May 2020 29 Jun 2020
G-ZBLC 09 Sep 2020 N/A
G-ZBLD 07 Nov 2020 N/A
G-ZBLE Built & Painted N/A

How many widebody aircraft is BA expecting?

British Airways currently has outstanding orders for three widebody families, one from Airbus and two from Boeing. As mentioned, the airline has received eight Airbus A350s so far. With a total order for 18 -1000s, ten deliveries remain.

British Airways, Airbus A350, Delivery
The A350 is one of three widebody types where British Airways has an outstanding order. Photo: British Airways

All of the airline’s 787-8 and -9 aircraft have been delivered on the Boeing side of things. With the two 787-10 deliveries, ten orders remain unfulfilled at this point. Also, the airline has 18 outstanding 777X firm orders. The first of these was due to be delivered in 2022. However, with the delay in certification, it is unclear if these deliveries will go ahead as planned.

Which of the three British Airways widebodies are you most excited to fly on? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.


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