29 APRIL 2013
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The much rumoured British Airways order for the Airbus A350 was finally announced last week. The airline has committed itself to 18 of the Dash 1000 model, the longest fuselage version to date which, with a typical BA four-class layout, means 330/350 passengers. In terms of range the aircraft can reach Jakarta and Hawaii from London non-stop.
With this announcement BA will have a mixed fleet of medium/long haul aircraft towards the end of the decade including: 12 Airbus A380 (469 seats), 24 Boeing 787 (214-275 seats), 50 Boeing 777 (216-297 seats), and the 18 Airbus A350 (330/350 seats) fitting into a missing aircraft size. Rolls-Royce is the engine supplier. The A350 has yet to fly and is expected to miss a Paris Airshow debut in June.
Iberia is also lined up for the A350 but a firm order will have to wait until the finances of that airline are sorted out, a tantalising situation for the carrier’s unions to consider.
BA’s next big decision is regarding short range aircraft having moved from Boeing to Airbus a generation back. Willie Walsh is a fan of the A320 from when Aer Lingus changed planes. Boeing will make a concentrated effort to tempt BA with the all new MAX 737. www.airbus.com www.ba.com
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