British Airways will today (Friday, May 28) take delivery of its 25th Boeing 777 aircraft, the jet which underpins the airline’s fleet and network strategy for the new millennium.
The latest 777 will be delivered to British Airways during a handover ceremony at Boeing’s Everett factory in Seattle and arrive in the UK tomorrow.
Since the airline introduced the environmentally friendly, fuel efficient twin-engine aircraft into its longhaul fleet in late 1995, its 777 jets have carried almost four million passengers on 25,000 flights and travelled some 75 million miles.
The popular 777 jet will play a major role in the airline’s strategy of fleet and network changes, bringing margin improvements and boosting profits.
By 2002 nearly half of British Airways’ longhaul fleet will consist of 777s which are smaller than the 747s the airline has traditionally flown. The 777s have fewer seats in the economy section than the 747s but the same number of business seats. The 777 enables the airline to focus on premium passengers whilst making significant cost savings.
Bob Ayling, British Airways’ Chief Executive, said: “The Boeing 777 aircraft is a vital part of our strategy as we change our fleet and network structure to compete in deregulated markets.
“The economics of operating 777s and the benefits to the environment with reduced noise and emissions make the aircraft a centrepiece of our operation as we fly into the new millennium.”
Alan Mulally, President of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, said: “We are pleased that British Airways has made a commitment to the enormously successful 777 product family.”
British Airways, the biggest operator of the Boeing 777 outside the US, currently uses the aircraft to fly to places such as Bermuda, Cancun, Colombo, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Dhahran, Dubai, Grand Cayman, Havana, Jeddah, Kingston, Kuwait, Philadelphia, Riyadh, San Juan, Tampa and Tel Aviv.
Last month British Airways took delivery of its 57th and last Boeing 747-400. The airline is the biggest operator of 747-400 aircraft in the world.
A British Airways Boeing 777 can carry up to 267 passengers, in a three-class configuration, and 10 tonnes of cargo. It can carry 37,229 imperial gallons/168,000 litres of fuel and has a range of 4,600 miles/7,400 kilometres.
British Airways has 20 more 777s on firm order for delivery by 2002.