British Airways upgrades to the 777X

IAG orders up to 42 777-Xs for BA, worth US$18.6 billion

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International Airlines Group (IAG) has confirmed a new order for 18 Boeing 777-9 aircraft, plus 24 options, for British Airways.

The aircraft will be used to replace 14 Boeing 747-400 and four Boeing 777-200 between 2022 and 2025. Each aircraft will be fitted with 325 seats in four cabins. British Airways’ 777-9 will be powered by General Electric GE9X engines.

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive, said: “The new B777-9 is the world’s most fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft and will bring many benefits to British Airways’ fleet. It’s the ideal replacement for the Boeing 747 and its size and range will be an excellent fit for the airline’s existing network.

“This aircraft will provide further cost efficiencies and environmental benefits, with fuel-cost-per-seat improvements of 30% compared to the Boeing 747. It also provides an enhanced passenger experience.”

British Airways has 135 wide-bodied long-haul aircraft in its fleet (12 A380s, 30 787s, 12 777-300ERs, 46 777-200s and 35 747s) with 12 more 787s, four 777-300ERs and 18 A350s on order.

The airline joins a group of leading carriers that have selected the new 777-9, which will debut next month as the largest and most efficient twin-engine passenger jet in the world.

The commitment is valued at up to US$18.6 billion at list prices.

In ordering the 777-9, British Airways extends a long-running relationship with the popular 777 family. The airline is one of the largest 777 operators, with a fleet of nearly 60 of the long-range jet. The airline last year committed to four more 777-300ER (Extended Range) jets via operating lease.

The 777-9 is larger and has a slightly wider cabin than current 777s, which provides the ability to comfortably sit 400–425 passengers in a standard two-class cabin. The 777-9 can also fly farther than its predecessors with a standard range of 14,075 kilometres.

The selection by IAG and British Airways puts the 777X at 358 orders and commitments from eight customers. Production of the 777X began in 2017, with first flight planned for this year and first delivery expected in 2020.

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