British Airways' first Boeing 787-10 will debut in February to Atlanta
The first Boeing 787-10 for British Airways will begin service in February next year, becoming the newest aircraft to enter the fleet as part of the airline's plan to renew its long-haul offering. British Airways said in a statement on Tuesday the 787-10 Dreamliner will be delivered in January, and will debut on the London Heathrow to Atlanta route the following month.
Most importantly for passengers, it will feature British Airways' newest business-class seat, the Club Suite, which is a major improvement over the biz-class product currently offered to Atlanta and to other US destinations except New York JFK.
Atlanta also happens to be the main base of Delta Air Lines, which has a joint venture on routes across the ocean with Virgin Atlantic, BA's historical rival.
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The airline posted on Tuesday on its public-relations Instagram account an image of its first 787-10 being assembled at the Boeing plant in Charleston, South Carolina.
A seat map provided by British shows the four-class jet will have eight first-class seats, the same now fitted to the smaller 787-9; behind that cabin will be 48 Club Suite seats, all forward-facing and offering direct aisle access, unlike the current biz product.
Then, there will be 35 seats in World Traveller Plus and 165 in World Traveller, which is what British calls its premium economy and economy classes.
That total capacity of 256 seats is a very low density for the 787-10, and it's clearly designed to maximize premium seating, making it likely the new jet will be deployed on routes with heavy business traffic.
The longest of the three Dreamliner models seats far more people with the other airlines that fly it, from 294 with Japan's ANA to 366 with Vietnam Airlines. U.S.-based flyers may be familiar with the 787-10s in service with United, which seat 318 people in Polaris business, premium economy and coach.
British is currently the only airline putting first class in the 787-10, an airliner designed to fly shorter routes than the smaller 787-8 and 787-9 models but with lower costs per seat thanks to its higher capacity. With its 7,400-mile range, the -10 still has the legs to fly nonstop to most of BA's destinations — but cannot hold a candle to the -9 model, which can go 9,000 miles with a full load.
British Airways currently has 12 787-8 and 16 787-9 Dreamliners, and it said it will take delivery of 12 787-10 Dreamliners, with six arriving in 2020.