British Airways has today unveiled its first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft at London Heathrow. G-XWBA, the latest addition to the British Airways fleet, touched down at the airline’s home on Saturday after its delivery was delayed.
Having ordered the 18 of the Airbus A350-1000 in 2013, the airline has been waiting around six years for the order. Today must come as a relief to both the airline and travelers alike. The aircraft is expected to call London Heathrow its home for the next few days before its inaugural flight on August 5th to Madrid.
Eight British registered A350s due this year
British Airways will receive four Airbus A350-1000 aircraft this year. By a huge coincidence, long-haul rivals Virgin Atlantic will also be receiving four Airbus A350-1000s this year. This means that by the end of the year, there will be a total of eight British registered Airbus A350-1000s.
Both carriers will be debuting similar business class seats on their Airbus A350s. However, while Virgin has already showcased theirs in April, British Airways showcased the Club World Suite today at the A350’s Heathrow delivery ceremony.
New club world cabin:
While we’ve mentioned the new Club world cabin, let’s dive deeper into the story.
British Airways’ new Club world cabin will truly revolutionize the British flag carrier’s business class offering. Currently, the carrier flies a pretty unpopular 2-4-2 business class:
This means that many current Club World seats do not have direct aisle access.
However, all this will change as the new Club Suite cabin features an impressive 1-2-1 configuration.
Every single seat will have direct aisle access. What’s more, the seat is actually a suite, so while the Airbus A350 doesn’t have a first-class cabin, the new suite is sure to give the carrier’s first-class product on older Boeing 777 aircraft a run for its money.
The Club Suite itself has 40 per cent more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, WiFi, enviable 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming, and PC/USB power. In total, there will be 56 Club World seats on BA’s new A350.
The new Club Suite’s won’t just be on British Airways A350’s, the airline will be slowly retrofitting the seat across its entire fleet. British Airways exclusively revealed to Simple Flying the first two Boeing 777’s which will receive the Club Suite in our article here.
Premium economy and economy:
In total, there will be 56 World Traveler Plus seats (premium economy) and 219 World Traveler seats (economy).
Both economy and premium economy passengers will benefit from top of the range high-speed WiFi allowing travelers to browse the internet on their personal electronic devices.
Overall, each of British Airways’ Airbus A350-1000’s will have a total of 331 seats.
The incredible A350 experience
The A350 aircraft itself will also promote a feeling of well-being, space, and calm due to its reduced noise levels, high ceilings and ambient lighting which is intended to compliment the time of day and outside light.
Customers will leave their flight feeling rested thanks to higher levels of humidity and refreshed air as the cabin pressure is equivalent to an altitude of just 6,000 feet. There are also environmental benefits to flying a state-of-the-art A350, as its 25 percent lower fuel burn significantly reduces CO2 emissions.
One week to lift off
Now, only one week remains until the Airbus A350 takes to the sky with passengers in the Chatham Dockyard livery. The aircraft will fly from London to Madrid as part of service BA460. While the business class cabin on the inaugural flight is reserved for invited guests and journalists, there are still tickets in the economy cabin. However, do remember that unforeseen circumstances could cause the equipment to change.
Following a number of crew familiarisation flights to and from Madrid, the aircraft will make its long haul debut to Dubai on the 2nd September. Additional Airbus A350 destinations currently confirmed by British Airways are Toronto, Tel Aviv, and Bengaluru.
Simple Flying will be on hand to report live from the inaugural flight!
What do you make of British Airways’ first Airbus A350-1000? Let us know in the comments!