On the first day of the Paris Air Show, British Airways has wasted no time focusing their attention on the next target in their fleet renewal the Boeing 777-200.
According to Air Transport World, British Airways is looking to renew its ageing fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft with newer models.
On the opening day of the world’s biggest air show, British Airways CFO Steve Gunning met with Boeing CEO of Commercial Aircraft Kevin McAllister to hold a deferred ceremonial signing for the 18, 777-9’s and 24 options BA had already ordered.
When Air Transport World asked Gunning about the progress of BA’s fleet renewal the University of Birmingham graduate replied saying:
“Where we’ll be going next on long-haul aircraft is that a large number of 777-200s, over the next few years, will need replacing.”
Back in February when British Airways first announced the order for the 777-9’s the airline listed 14, 747-400’s and only four, 777-200’s as aircraft that the new planes would replace starting in 2022.
How will the new 777-9’s be configured?
When asked how the new 777-9’s would be configured Gunning confirmed that the planes would be laid out in a “similar” fashion to BA’s current 747’s with 325 seats divided amongst four cabins. In other words, eight seats in First Class, 65 seats in Business Class, 45 seats in Premium Economy and the rest made up of 206 Economy Class seats.
The British Airways and Boeing bigwigs also signed other agreements at the Paris show, including a landing gear exchange agreement for the Boeing 777-300ERs and to supply parts for BA’s family of Airbus A320 jets. Yes, that’s right, you read it correctly; Boeing is going to supply British Airways with a rival plane maker’s parts.
Under the deal, Boeing will maintain an inventory of parts for the Airbus’ A320 and A320neo single-aisle aircraft.
According to Reuters, this deal reflects Boeing’s Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg’s aim of turning the world’s largest planemaker into a supplier of aircraft parts as well as a mainstream aircraft manufacturer.
“We were happy to put our hat in the ring and give a choice to British Airways,” Boeing Global Services Chief Executive Stan Deal told reporters.
British Airways gives its support to Boeing
The British Airways boss even used his time at the Paris Air Show to express British Airways support for Boeing following their recent problems regarding the 737 MAX.
And while not having any 737 MAX aircraft in their fleet Gunning was keen to say: “We are confident that Boeing will solve those issues.”
With Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft grounded around the world following two fatal crashes in five months, the general assumption was that Boeing was going to keep a low profile at the Paris Air Show.
Despite not wanting to be in the headlines, Boeing executives used the show to publicly apologise to the families who lost loved ones in the crashes, saying: “We are very sorry for the loss of lives.”
“It is a pivotal moment for all of us,” he added. “It’s a time for us to make sure that accidents like this never happen again.”