Where Will British Airways Fly The Boeing 737 MAX?

Back in June, British Airways parent company IAG announced its intention to purchase up to 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets. Taking place at the Paris Air Show, the announcement was significant as it came at a time when confidence in the aircraft is shaky. So if the announcement of intention becomes a firm order, where would British Airways fly the 737 MAX (if IAG assigns the aircraft to the airline)?

British Airways Comair Boeing 737 MAX 8 landing
Comair flying under the British Airways colors and livery. Photo: Boeing

We should emphasize that this is a purely hypothetical situation. Two things first have to happen in order for us to see British Airways operating the Boeing 737 MAX:

  1. IAG needs to firm up its order. Currently, it only stands as an announcement of intention.
  2. IAG would have to assign the newly delivered MAX jets to British Airways rather than other subsidiary airlines. Other brands include Aer Lingus, Iberia, LEVEL, and Vueling. Any one of these other brands could take the jets instead of BA.

It also goes without saying that the grounding/ban of the 737 MAX needs to end as well. So holding the above two (three) assumptions in place, let’s proceed with our hypothetical situation…

What British Airways uses now

According to Wikipedia, British Airways narrowbody fleet currently consists of planes from the Airbus A320 family. This includes a single A318 for its specialty route (between London City Airport and John F. Kennedy International) and goes all the way up to the stretched version – the A321.

These aircraft currently fly intra-Europe routes. These routes include London Heathrow to Prague and Heathrow to Helsinki (and on and on). However, we have seen the stretched versions fly as far as Cairo.

BA A320neo
The BA narrowbody fleet consists of variants from the A320 family as well as smaller Embraer regional jets. Photo: British Airways

From Gatwick and Heathrow

The majority of BA flights depart from London Gatwick and London Heathrow except for a handful of exceptions, such as BA2347 (Edinburgh to Palma de Mallorca) and BA7319 (Manchester to Mykonos). Yes, there are flights out of London City but they wouldn’t be able to handle the 737 MAX – hence the reason BA should get the A220.

Looking at the map below, we can see that the 737 MAX 8 would open up a lot of the world to BA for lower-capacity flights.

The range of the 737 MAX 8 from London Gatwick. Photo: GCMaps

We could see British Airways using the 737 MAX on routes currently operated by its A320 fleet. That’s a lot of flights. Here are a few examples from London:

  •  Heathrow to Cairo
  •  Gatwick to Algiers
  •  Gatwick to Thessaloniki
  •  Heathrow to Faro
  •  Heathrow to Frankfurt

Maybe we could see new routes develop to far-flung low-demand routes. Perhaps destinations in far Eastern Europe and Central Asia like:

  • Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • Astana, Kazakhstan
  • Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Tbilisi, Georgia

It would be amazing to see BA develop routes from airports like Manchester and Edinburgh so that passengers originating in Northern England and as far up as Scotland don’t have to connect through London to go further with the airline.

Conclusion

Like we said above, it would take a few steps first before we see a British Airways 737 MAX flight. Are there any routes that you would like to see British Airways operate with an advanced narrowbody aircraft like the 737 MAX? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Comair 737 MAX
A 737 MAX in British Airways livery operated by Comair. Photo: Boeing

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christian

You guys should be cutting Boeing a check for how many click bait articles you publish mentioning the MAX

Chris

Please keep us updated on which routes this flying coffin ends up being used on so I can be sure to avoid them, and stay out of there flight paths

Peter

My understanding is that pilots were not being trained probably to simply switch off the system.

Stephen Pressman

Boeing does not tell pilots that the software exists. It Knows there is a problem and hides it since 2017. A plane crashes and they blame the pilots. Lots of people die. A second plane crashes and the flying coffin is grounded. And still they suggest pilot error.

Niklas

It will be difficult indeed to know, but customers need to know on witch aircraft they will fly… does BA/IAG will allow customers to know before booking ?

simon

I would never step foot on one of these 737 MAX planes

Muhammad Reshad Koodun

I absolutely agree with you on this

Martin

Flying coffin? Best description ever! A work associate who knows nothing of planes asked me if a ticket issued for travel in May 2020 on a 737 Max-8 was the one falling from the skies. He has demanded a change of flight. Smart man!!!

KP

So all you AIrbus trolls talking smack about the MAX — with the A330 choking out its passengers , the A320 and A321 now getting marked as having some “excessive pitch” problems – needing software updates- meaning the plane could have a really bad day unless the pilots know what the hell they are doing — and lets not forget the A350 needs to have its electronics cycled every 149 hours to prevent shutdown – what are you going to fly on next — COMAC or that Superjet 100?

JackFlash

B737 Max has got fundamental design flaw and a pile of hacks to remedy it. Two fatal crashes and Boeing blamed pilots, knowing that the problem had been elsewhere.
And we have FBI criminal investigation underway.

Martin

hi KP. Lets compare Airbus to Boeing… Airbus finds the potential software problem on the 320 series and openly discusses it. They issue advice on how to best manage the unlikely event and issue a software fix. Oh – the A350 software fix has been available to airlines for a very, very long time. The airlines are too busy making money on the A350 to pull it from service. (Didn’t the 787 have a similar issue???) Boeing does not tell pilots that the software exists. It Knows there is a problem and hides it since 2017. A plane crashes and… Read more »

Rob

I like this site but this article is quantity of quality, they could fly them on an short hall route…of which there are many!

Caroline

” Are there any routes that you would like to see British Airways operate with an advanced narrowbody aircraft like the 737 MAX? ”
Not any route as far as i am concerned even if the 737 Max gets re certified and changes its name.
I have values and i did not like Boeing
1) Not suspending flights immediately after the 1st Lion Air crash
2)blaming pilots for the 2 crashes.
So for me in Europe i say bye bye to IAG ,Vueling & Ryan Air.

TigerTanaka

What a stupid click bait article. The planes will not be delivered until 2023 at the earliest (if the LOI is converted into a firm order), BA will not be doing any route planning until 12 months before delivery and I severely doubt that BA are buying the MAX for its extra range.

Maybe the writer should have noted that BA’s part of the MAX order were for LGW so the chance of them ending up at FRA or CAI is pretty remote.

Ebony414

I have faith in Boeing’s , they will get this issue sorted ,
Sorry to hear about lost of so many people it’s not good Boeing. I know BA will use 737 max not till boring fix the issue

BA supplier gal

Any airline hoping to compete with the LCC model only flies one air-frame type. And BA is decidedly going down the LCC route… (as is all of the IAG stable). IAG is almost 100% Airbus (apart from BACF which uses smaller airports, so uses Embraers.) My thoughts? IAG are using this LOI to beat Airbus with a huge stick to demand even lower prices. BA regularly beats suppliers up, although they are very loyal at the same time. I think it is just a purchasing ruse to worry Airbus.