British Airways (BA) announced to the London Stock Exchange this morning (Thursday 27 October) its eagerly awaited order for new aircraft. The airline has committed itself for 12 Airbus A380s (pictured above) ” with deliveries from 2012 ” and 24 Boeing 787s (pictured below) ” from 2010 . They will be delivered by 2014.
All the aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce engines. The total list price for the firm orders is $8.2bn (”4.1bn) for the airframe and engines.
British Airways chief executive, Willie Walsh said: ”These aircraft set the gold standard when it comes to environmental performance in the key areas of CO2 emissions, local air quality and noise. They will contribute significantly to our target of improving fuel efficiency by 25% between 2005 and 2025.
”They are also much quieter than their predecessors, which is of vital importance at Heathrow. Both the A380 and B787 are rated as producing a quarter of the noise level of the B747-400.
”We will provide customers with a great flying experience on modern aircraft which have brighter interiors and are much quieter inside the cabin. The A380 with its large floor space gives us more flexibility to design innovative cabins while the lower altitude cabin pressure in the Boeing 787 will reduce the impact of jet lag.”
The new aircraft will replace 20 of the airline”s Boeing 747-400s and its14 long haul Boeing B767 fleet. There are options for a further seven Airbus A380s and18 Boeing 787s which still leaves a question mark for the future regarding the 37 remaining B747s, 13 B757s and seven B767s.
The Rolls-Royce Trent 900 is launch engine for the Airbus A380 which enters service next month with Singapore Airlines. The Trent 1000 is the launch engine for all variants of the Boeing 787 and will power the aircraft”s first flight later this year, before entering service in 2008.
With no orders for the Boeing 777 it will put pressure on Boeing to update the world”s largest twin-engined aircraft as a replacement for the balance of the 747 fleet. BA says that the new Airbus A350XWB is under consideration for the future order, which could be for more 787s and a further commitment for 777s.
With only Lufthansa ordering the updated Boeing 747-8 in passenger form a big question mark remains over the future of the 40-year old design.